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VOL. n. 




Printed by T. K. & P. G. Collina. 


1. To his sister Mftry, afterward Mrs. ISxpiet 1789 9 

2. To his sister Mary... Oct. 25,1791 10 

8. To his sister Mary ...... .-.-..- Nov. 2,1791 12 

4. To his sister Mary Deo. 12,1791 IS 

5. To Miss Crookett, a eousin Mar. 9, 1792 14 

6. To Miss Crockett JTune 10, 1792 16 

7. To Mr. John Jeffrey............. Mar. 80, 1793 17 

8. To Mr. Kobert Morehead ...e.. June 25, 1798 18 

9. To Mr. John Jeffrey............. Mar. 2, 1794 20 

10. To Mr. John Jeffrey ..........June 1,1794 21 

11. To Mr. Robert Morehead ..............Deo. 22, 1795 22 

12. To Mr. Bobert Morehead . ............ .May 7> 1796 24 

18. ToMr. John Jeffrey.............. May 20,1796 26 

14. To George J. Bell, Esq. ...;......... ...Oct 7, 1796 27 

15. To Mr. Bobert Morehead ..............Not. 26, 1796 29 

16. ToMr.rfohnJeffrey... ....;...;. Not. 12,1797 31 

17. To Mr. John Jeffrey.^.*.;*. Nor. 21, 1797 33 

18. To Mr. Bobert Morehead Aug. 6, 1798 34 

19. To Mr. John Jeffrey.. .....*............ Mar. 4, 1799 35 

20. To George J. B^ll, Esq. Aug. 26, 1799 37 

21. To Mr. Bobert Morehead ................Sept. 20, 1799 40 

22. To Mr. Bobert Morehead . ....•;....... .July 6, 1800 42 

23. To Mr. John Jeffrey.. ................... Oct. 1, 1800 44 

24. ToMr. John Jeffrey. i.. ............. ...Not. 29,1800 45 

25. To Mr. John Jeffrey... ................. Jan. 8, 1801 47 

26. To Thomas Campbell^ Esq..... ....Mar. 17, 1801 .48 

27. To George J. Bell, Esq ....April 19, 1801 50 

28. To Mr. John Jeffrey... Aug. 1, 1801 62 


29. To Mr. John Jeffrey Oct. 2 

30. To Mr. Robert Morehead Oct. 7 

31. To Mr. Robert Morehead May 24, 

32. To Mr. John Jeffrey Aug. 1 

83. To Mr. Robert Morehead :Oct. 25, 

34. To Francis Homer, Esq April 1 

35. To Francis Horner, Esq May 11 

36. To Mr. John Jeffrey July 2 

37. To George J. BelJ, Esq ....Aug. T 

88. To Francis Homer, Esq Aug. 8. 

39. To Francis Homer, Esq Sept. 2 

40. To Francis Homer, Esq. Sept. 8, 

41. To Francis Horner, Esq Oct. 19 

42. To Francis Homer, Esq Feb. 19, 

43. To Francis Homer, Esq May 6, 

44. To Francis Homer, Esq Sept. 3, 

45. To Francis Horner, Esq.....*^ Sept. 4, 

46. To Francis Homer, Esq Jan. 20, 

47. To Mr. John Jeffrey Feb. 6^ 

48. To Mrs. Morehead Aug. 23, 

49. To Charles Bell, Esq Jan. 21 

50. To Francis Homer, Esq Mar. 9 

51. To Mrs. Morehead Sept. 1 

52. To Francis Homer, Esq Sept. 18, 

53. To Francis Homer, Esq Nov. 25, 

54. To Mr. John Jeffrey Jan. 28 

55. To Francis Homer, Esq Sept. 10. 

56. To Mr. Malthus April 21 

57. To John Allen, Esq Deo. 22. 

58. To John Allen, Esq May 4j 

59. To Francis Homer, Esq July 20; 

60. To Francis Homer, Esq Jan. 25, 

61. To Charles Bell, Esq April 4, 

62. To Mrp. Morehead May 12, 

63. To Mrs. Morehead : Sept. 7 

64. To Francis Homer, Esq Jan. 5, 

65. To Lord Murray ...Aug. 20, 


1801 53 

1801 54 

1802 66 

1802 58 

1802 59 

1803 60 

1803 61 

1803 64 

1803 66 

1803 68 

1803 70 

1803 71 

1803 73 

1804 75 

1804 76 

1804 78 

1804 80 

1805...... 82 

1805 83 

1805 84 

1806 86 

1806 88 

1806 90 

1806 92 

1806 95 

1807 101 

1808 103 

1809 104 

1809.. ....104 

1810 105 

1810 106 

1811 109 

1811 110 

1811 Ill 

1811 114 

1813 114 

1813 116 



' 66. To Robert Morehead, Esq Aug. 28, 1813 117 

67. ToMr.Malthus May 12,1814 119 

68. To Charles Wilkes, Esq Feb. 26,1815 120 

69. To Francis Horner, Esq Mar. 12^ 1815 123 

70. To Charles Wilkes, Esq..... May 7, 1816 12ft 

71. To Francis Homer, Esq June 9,1815 128 

72. To John Allen, Esq Feb. 13,1816 130 

73. To Charles Wilkes, Esq ..Sept. 1816 131 

74. ToJohn Allen, Esq Dec. 20,1816 132 

75. To Charles Wilkes, Esq Feb. 17,1817 134 

76. To John Allen, Esq Mar. 14,1817 137 

77. To John Allen, Esq Mar. 27,1817 138 

78. To John Richardson, Esq July 24, 1817 139 

79. To Dr. Chalmers July 26,1817 141 

80. To Charles Wilkes, Esq May 9, 1818 142 

81. To Charles Wilkes, Esq ....Aug. 6, 1818 146 

82. To Charles Wilkes, Esq May 5, 1819 150 

83. To Charles Wilkes, Esq Aug. 24, 1819 152 

84. To Dr. Chalmers .^ Dec. 21,1819 154 

85. To John Allen, Esq Feb. 22,1821 155 

86. To Charles Wilkes, Esq..., April 15, 1821 156 

87. To Charles Wilkes, Esq..... Jan. 27, 1822 ;158 

88. To Charles Wilkes, Esq ......April 13, 1822 160 

89. To Mrs. Colden May 6, 1822 164 . 

90. To Charles Wilkes, Esq Sept. 22, 1822 169 

91. To his niece, Miss Brown.... Aug. 13, 1828 170 

92. To Miss Brown ; Aug. 25, 1823 172 

93. To John Allen, Esq Deo. 18, 1823 174 

94. To Miss Brown Sept. 23, 1824 175 

95. To Mr. Malthus Jan. 6, 1826 176 

96. To Mrs. Colden Mar. 29, 1827 177 

97. To Lord Cookbum Aug. 13, 1827 179 

98. To Lord Cockbum Aug. 19, 1827 180 

99. To Mrs. James Chug Oct. 21,1828 182 

100. To Mrs. Craig....'. April 8,1829 183 

101. To Charles Wilkes, Esq Mar. 28,1880 183 

102. To George J. Bell, Esq Nov. 1880 186 



108. Tq Mr. Empscxi Jan. 81^1881 186 

104. To Loid^ockburn, April 7,1831 187 

106. ToMrs. Lain^ Jjdj 8,1881 189 

106. TolKJrd Cockbnm Aug. 23, 1831 190 

107. To Lord Cookbum Oct. 9, 1831 191 

108. To Miaa Cookbum Oct 17,1831 192 

109. To Lord Cockbnm Deo. 18,1831 193 

110. To Lord Cockburn F«b. 12,1882 194 

in. To Miss Cockbum ...Mar. 21,1832 196 

112. To Mrs. Rutherford April 1,1832 198 

118. To Lord Cockbum April26, 1832 200 

114. To Lord Cockbum '.'. Aug. 2,1832 202 

116. To Lwd Cockburn........ Aug. 8,1832 .202 

116. ToMr.Empson Aug. 26, 1832 203 

117. To Lord Cockbum Aprilll, 1833 205 

118. To Lord Cockbum July 16,1838 206 

119. To Lord Cockburn July 80, 1833 207 

120. To Lord Cockbum Aug. 23, 1833 208 

121. To Lord Cockburn Aug. 26, 1833 209 

122. ToMr.Empson Aug, 2,1834 210 

123. To Mrp. Craig Dec. 26,1834 212 

124. To Mrs. D. Belden April 29, 1835 212 

125. To Lord Cockbum Aug. 28, 1835 214 

126. To Dr. Morehead Sept. 30, 1835 216 

127. To Lord Cockburn Jan. 6, 1836 219 

128. To William Spalding, Esq May 23,1836 219 

129. To Andrew Rutherford, Esq Aug. 1, 1836 221 

130. To John Richardson, iSsq Nov. 28, 1886 228 

131. To Mr. Empson Edinr. 16th 224 

132. To Androw Rutiierfurd, Esq ...April 17, 1837 225 

133. To John Cay, Esq Aug. 14, 1837 226 

134. To Mrs. C. Innes Aug. 29, 1837 227 

136. To John Richaidson, Esq Sept. 7,1837 230 

136. ToMr.Empson Nov. 11,1837 231 

137. ToMr.Empson Nov. 26,1837 238 

138. ToMr.Empson Deo. 19,1837 236 

139. TotheSolicitor.general(Rutherfurd)Mar. 22, 1838 236 


UO. To Mm. Empgon. ,,.,... Sept. 18, 1888 287 

141. To tbe Lord Advooate (Rutherfard)Jane 3, 1839 988 

142. To George J, Bell^ Esq July 7, 1839 239, 

143. To Mf8. RuOierfftrd ^uly 14, 1839 239 

144. To4^LordAdYOcate(Batherfard)Aug. 13. 1839 242 

146. To Mw. Oraig ,......., Sept 20, 1839 243 

146. ToM«. EmpBon.... Jan. 23,1840 244 

147. To Mrs. C. lanes.......... ...Fe]i>. 6, 1840 246 

148. To Mrs. Empson , .....Feb. .20,1840 248 

149. To m. Empson May 4, 1840 249 

itO. ToMw. C. Innep.,.,.,.,. ..June 2, 1840.. ....2&0 

m. To Mr. »»pfion.. ..,....,, June 27, 1840 261 

162. To Mrs. C. Innee....... , Aug. 13, 1840 252 

163. To John Ri(diardsop, Esq... ...... ....Oct. 16, 1840 265 

164. To MfB. Empson... Dec.^ 6, 1840 .^66 

166. To Mr. Empson........,, „ Dec. 16,1840 267 

166. To Mrs. Empson Deq. 21,1840 268 

167. To Mrs. Empson Mar. 2, 1841. .....269 

168. To Mrs. C. Innes Aprilll, 1841 261 

169. To Mrs. C.^Mies ,.,.., April25, 1841 262 

160. To Lord Cockburn May 4, 1841..... .266 

161. To Mrs. C. Innes May 9,1841 268 

162. To John Richardson, Esq Nov. 1, 1841 274 

168. To Mrs. Butherfurd..., April29, 1842 276 

164. To Andrew Butherfurd, Esq... July 11, 1842.....J278 

166. To Mr. Empson 279 

166. To Mrs. Empson 1842 290 

167. To Miss Perry July 24, 1842 293 

168. To Charles Piekens, Esq Oct. 16,1842 294 

169. To John Richardson, Esq Npv. 80, 1842 296 

170. To John Ramsey M'CuUoch, Esq.. Dec. 12, 1842 298 

171. To Lord Cockburn Mar. 26,1843 299 

172. To Charles Dickens, Esq Dec. 26, 1843 300 

173. To Chvles Dickens, Esq Feb. 1, 1844 302 

174. To Mrs. Empson Feb. 27,1844 303 

176. To Mrs. A. Ratherfurd May 9, 1844 806 

176. To Mrs. Fletcher 14, 1844.. ....306 



177. To Mrs. Empson July 1844 807 

178. ToMr. Diokend Deo. 12,1844 308 

179. To Lord Oookbum Mar. 26, 1846 811 

180. To Mrs. Sidney Smith June 14, 1845 812 

181. To Sir Gteorge Sinclair Aug. 1, 1846 818 

182. To Mrg. E. Cayley Aug. 6,1846 816 

183. To the Hon. the Lady John RusseU.Dec. 21,1846 817 

184. To Mrs. Empson May 80,..; 818 

185. To Mrs. Empson. 820 

186. To Mr. Charles Dickens .-...Jan. 81, 1847 821 

187. To Mr. Empson Jan. 81,1847 826 

188. To Mrs. Fletcher April80, 1847 826 

189. To Mrs. Empson... May 23,1847 827 

190. To Mr. Empson...... June 1, 1847 829 

191. To Mrs. A. Rutherfurd June 21, 1847 830 

192. To a Grandchild.; June 21, 1847...... 332 

198. To the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. July 1, 1847 .838 

194. To Charles Dickens, Esq July 6, 1847 386 

195. To Charles Dickens, Esq Sept. 12, 1847 838 

196. To Mrs. Empson Nov. 7, 1847 340 

197. T6 Mrs. Fletcher 18, 1847. 841 

198. To Mr. Empson., 26, 1848. 842 

199. To Mrs. A. Rutherfurd May 1848 845 

200. To a Grandchild June 20, 1848 347 

201. To Mr. Empson 348 

202. To Mr. Cayley Aug. 8,1848 849 

203. To Charles Dickens, Esq.*. Nov. 5, 1848 351 

204. To Mr. Empson 1848 352 

205. To Mr. Empson Jan. 19,1849 352 

206. To JohnMacphersonMacleod,Esq.Feb. 15,1849 858 

207. To Mr. Empson Mar. 20, 1849...... 861 

208. To Charles Dickens, Esq ;July 27,1849 865 

209. To Mr. Alexander Maulagan Jan. 4, 1850 866 

210. To Charles Dickens, Esq Jan. 6, 1850 866 

211. To Mr. John Crawford Jan. 6, 1850 367 



1. — To his sister Maty^ afterward Mrs. Napier. 

Glasgow, 1789. 
In case I forget, I wish you would bring with you a copy 
of Virgil, such as that John reads at ' school, — the one I 
have being rather troublesome to carry with me when I go 
to walk. I don't know what account I shall give of my- 
self to ]^apa, for I have attended all my classes very ill, 
and am this moment under a summons of the Principal to 
compear before him and receive condign punishment for 
non-appearance in the Common Hall above three times this 
session. Poor soul, how dost thou expect to escape ? Aft 
thou ignorant that the faculty have no moderation, or dost 
thou not know that tears avail not ? Lightly as I talk of 
this matter, (general matter I mean,) I am somewhat un- 
easy with regard to the ideas my father may entertain of 
it; I hope, however, to show him that I know as much of 
the matter as those who have paid a more regular atten- 
tion. It hoks ill, however. 


2. — To his sister Maty: 

Oxford, October 26, 1791. 
My dear Mary — 

I would willingly apologize for my last letter ; of the 
others I am not desirous of speaking. They only failed to 
give you pleasure^ It may have girea you pain. I am 
afraid it has, "but this is all conjecture, for I have ifh'itten so 
many letters since, that I 6annot say I have any accurate 
recollection of its contents ; only I am sure from the hu- 
mour I was then in, it must have been very querulous and 
melancholy ; and I am now to bid adieu to that humour ; 
I have already re-assumed that merriment of soul, that 
airiness of disposition, which has hitherto elevated me above 
the atmosphere of sorrow. Not yet ; — though the clouds 
of that atmosphere no longer oppress me with that intole- 
rable load under which I panted at first. I feel that I shall 
never become attached to this place. There is nothing in 
it to interest me, and though I may cease to complain of 
my situation, it will only be through a dull and despairing 
resignation. I have succeeded too well in my attempts to 
form a local attachment to Edinburgh and its environs. 
My solitary walks, my afternoon wanderings by the Calton 
Hill and St. Bernard's, have imprinted those objects on my 
heart, and insured their recollection while I shall continue 
to know myself. 

My appearance is much altered since I came her(9. Do 
not, however:, be apprehensive ; for, except some s^ptoms 
of the Swis^ difsease, I am in perfect health ; and indeed, 
while I am in the house, my appearance retains its old 
peculiarities. But without, a great black gown and the 
portentous square cap conceal the elegance of my form, 
and overshadow the majesty of my brow. To you I need 
not describe those habiliments, for you have seen them. 


Did I tell you the manner of our living here ? We occupy, 
each of us, our separate apartments, and lock .ourselves in 
at n^ht. At seven o'clock we repair to prayers, and it 
-would astonish you to witness the activity with which I 
spring up at that hour in this cold weather. That detains 
us half an hour, after which most of us choose to walk till 
nine o'clock, at which hour a George (that is to say a round 
penny roll) is served up, with a bit of butter, upon a pew- 
ter plate, into each of our chambers, where we provide our 
own tea and sugar. We do not often breakfast alone, bpt 
generally order our Geprge up to some friend's apartment, 
and breakfast sociably. From this time till three we do 
what we please, unless there be any lectures to attend ; but 
at three, the trumpet's martial voice proclaims the hour of 
dinner, to which we all repair in the Common Hall, after 
having ordered, in our way through the kitchen, whatever 
part of the bill of fare we may choose. Allow me to satisfy 
your curiosity by informing you that we have a clean table- 
cloth every day. After dinner, we either return each to 
his own apartment, or, what is more common, two or three 
together, who generally drink or laugh till the hour of five 
warns the bellman to qall us again to prayers. Very few 
of us take any tea — I have never yet. Our supper is served 
in the same way as breakfast. I have usually chosen to 
sup alone, and have not yet been out of bed beyond eleven. 
Our practice upon the road has been of some service in 
preparing me for those hours of sleeping and waking. You 
h^.ve now some idea how I live. Stupidly enough, is it 
not ? I would willingly change it. This would be tedious 
to any other body ; but, judging of your feelings by my 
own, (and I hope you think that a compliment, as I meant 
it,) I am convinced you will read it with satisfaction. 

I used to think a hermit's life a pleasant one, and have 
often said that solitude is infinitely preferable to any but 
the best society. And, to say the truth, I still prefer it to 
most of the society I meet with here. But I cannot help 


regretting that which I have abandoned in Scotland ; even 
those for whom, when they were present, I felt no affection 
nor regard, have become dear to me now that I can no 
longer enjoy their society. I do not like my tutor ; 1 can- 
not bring him to be on that footing of intimacy to which I 
hare brought all his predecessors. I long for some object 
to fill up the void which the abrupt dissolution of so many 
affections has left in my heart.^ 

I feel I shall never be a great man, unless it be as a 
poet ; for, though I have a boundless ambition, I am too 
much the slave of my heart;. If I were calmly reposed on 
the bosom of fdicity, I would not leave my family to enjoy 
a triumph. Write instantly. — I am yours affectionately. 

8. — To his sister Mary* 

Oxford, Queen's College, Nov. 2, 1791. 

Whence arises my affection for the moon ? I do not bcr 
lieve there is a being, of whatever denomination, 4ipon 
whom she lifts the light of her countenance, who is so glad 
to see her as I am ! She is the companion of my melan- 
choly, and the witness of my happiness. There are few 
people for the sake of whose society I should be glad to 
shut her out. I went half a mile yesterday to see her on 
the water, and to-night I have spent the most pleasant hour 
that I have known these six weeks in admiring her from 
my back window. This place should never be looked on 
but by moonlight, and then, indeed, what place does not 
look well ! But there is something striking here — ^you re- 
collect it — ^the deep and romantic shades on the sculptured 
towers — the sparkle of their gilded vanes — their black 
and pointed shadows upon the smooth green turf of our 
courts — the strong shades of the statues over the library 
— the yellow and trembling heads of the trees beyond 
them! Could I find anybody here who understood these 


matters, or who thought them worth being understood, I 
should regain my native enthusiasm and my wonted enjoy- 
ment ; but they are all drunkards, or pedants, or coxcombs. 

How little does happiness depend upon ourselves ! Mo- 
ralists may preach as they please, but neither temperance, 
nor fortitude, nor justice, nor charity, nor conscious ge- 
nius, nor fair prospects, have power to make anybody 
happy for two days together. For the little power they 
have they are indebted to their novelty. In short, all our 
enjoyment here seems to depend upon a certain energy and 
vigour of mind, which depend upon — ^we know not what. 
What has happened to me since the morning ? that I am 
now as cheerful and gay as I was then discontented and 
unhappy ! I believe I have written nonsense, for I have 
written wholly from myself. 

I have almost put out my eyes, and can hardly see to 
tell you that I am your amiable brother. 

4. — To hu mtei^ Mary, 

Oxford, December 19, 1791. 

Ah Sorella mia— 

• •• •••.• 

How do you employ your time ? I often think the oc- 
cupations of a lady — high as that title places the honoured 
bearer — are of a more servile nature than that of a man, 
and retain some traces of the genius of those days when 
all the drudgery of the household was the amusement of 
its mistress. The employments of all men, who are not 
mechanics, are chiefly exertions of the mind. Those of 
the ladies are, in general, displays of mechanical ingenuity; 
and the wife of a lawyer, of a divine, and a poet, resemble, 
in their occupation, the industry of a weaver or a tailor 
more than that of her husband. For my part, I am asto- 
nished how you can continue so long in a state of inaction ; 
and it is the sole foundation of my dislike to a mechanical 

Vol. II.— 2 


profession, that it must stagnate and suspend those pleasing 
labours of the spirit, from which alone I can draw either 
pride or satisfaction. 

To what a superior station of existence does not a taste 
for literature and a lively fancy elevate the mind! How 
much superior does it render a man to all wealth and power 
— to all fortune or fate. The source of the satisfaction 
I believe to be pride ; but I love to feel it nevertheless. I 
shall not go to London this vacation. A little reflection 
and a little advice have determined me to keep where I am 
for another term. So, while you and all the world are 
laughing, and feasting, and rejoicing, I shall continue quiet- 
ly and soberly, eating my commons, and reading my folios. 
I cannot say I feel either dejection or envy in the idea. 
May they be all as happy as they can, say I to myself, I 
shall be so much the more so. This is one advantage of 
the literary and philosophic turn — we scorn to owe our 
^satisfaction to any thing else ; and so, when the more ordi- 
nary means of enjoyment are withheld. Pshaw, we say, we 
can do without them, and then begin to despise the splen- 
dour of courts. The sky is heavy with weight of snow, and 
is easing itself as fast as possible. I suppose we shall bei 
wading up to the arm-pits to chapel to-morrow. 

I am yours affectionately. 

6. — To Mi$8 Oroeketty d cmain, / 

Oxford, 9th March, 179^. 

My dear Crocke — I fancy t have provoked you. I have 
entirely forgotten what I wrote in my last, but recollect 
that it was written immediately after a very hearty dinner, 
on a very cold and a very cloudy day. I conclude it was 
incredibly amusing. I beg your pardon — I excuse your 
silence — and I proceed. But I would excuse any thing at 
present, for I am mollified and melted to the very temper 

TO iiisi» oMctmr. 15 

•f ft lamt) within tliese three weeks, and alt owing to the 
reading of some very large and admirabfy elegant books; 
whieh have so stnpefied and harassed my understanding, so 
ezereised and eonfirmed my patience, and,, withal, so petri- 
fied and deadened my sensibility, that I can no longer 
perceive or resent any injury or affiront that might be 
offered me. I have just intellect enough remaining to sug- 
gest the impropriety of proclaiming this my unhappy state, 
so tempting to insult or malice ; but I know to whom I 
confide the secret, and I know that I am safe; for hencTO- 
lence and compassion, especially when allied to a genuine 
nobility of spirit, will never take advantage of infirmity or 
misfortune ; and the assurance of imptmity can only be a 
temptation to the ungenerous and unfeeling. Now I beg 
you would never thiak of copying such sentences as these 
-^I mean when you write to me on any other occasion. I 
am sure your purer taste must render the caution super- 
fluous. There is a charm in simplicity and naturality of 
expression, for which neither excellent sense, nor egregious 
sentiment, not splendid diction can compensate. But this 
simplicity, in this vile, conceited, and puerile age, it is in- 
finitely difficult to acquire ; and all our beet writers since 
Shakspeare, except the gentle Addison, and sometimes 
Sterne, have given up the attempt in despair, and trusted 
to gaudier vehicles for the conveyance of their respective 
reputations to the ears of posterity and the mansion of 
fame ; which practice, you will allow, is greatly to the pre- 
judice of those who are taught to consider them as the 
models of fine writing. However, I intend in a year or 
two to correct the depravity of taste, and to revive the 
simple and the sublime in all their purity and in all their 
majesty. This, you will perceive, is private and confiden- 
tial. I wish you understood Latin, and particularly Greek, 
that you might understand what it is that I am talking 
about, in which wish I doubt nothing you join me most cor- 
dially. Now you conceive I am grown a pedant ; that I 


have done notbing but read law, and langoage, and science^ 
since I came here. Shall I tell yon the truth, though it 
would be « pitY to undeceive you in an error so flattering 
to my diligence and industry ? Z never was so dissipated 
in my life ; being out almost every day, and pestered with 
languor all the morning. But the vacation is coming on, 
and we shall have leisure enow, and there will be nothing 
but reading, and then we will get learning enow, &c. 

Write me a letter as long as these two last of mine, and 
believe me, yours intensely, F. Jeffbbt. 

6.— To Miss Crockett. 

Oxford, 10th June, 1792. 

Dear Grocke — My memory is strangely confused. I am 
positive that I wrote to you, about the date of your last, 
but whether before or after receiving it, I vaiinly fatigue 
myself to remember. I am still in the same state of uncer- 
tainty with regard to my return to Scotland, which I 
endeavoured to relieve by the inquiries you satisfied so 
kindly — for you will allow that these responses form no 
authority ; but my suspense must necessarily receive a 
speedy termination, as I have some time ago applied to my 
father for an absolute and categorical answer. If this an- 
swer be such as I desire and expect, I shall see you long 
before harvest, for in less than a fortnight the period of 
my academical residence expires, and I am inclined to bar- 
gain with them as strictly as possible, &c. &Ck .... 
I rejoice in the idea of returning among you, because I 
shall then recover leisure, tranquillity, and content — be- 
cause I shall then once more behold the image of domestic 
peace, and experience that soft and soothing sort of satis- 
faction which the temperate affections of relationship, &c. 
contribute to form. You must not, therefore, expect any 
symptoms of complete happiness; but, on the contrary, 


must be prepared to behold a countenance rather disma!, 
bearing traces of regret for .time squandered and mon^y 
misspent — showing visibly the vestiges of disappointment, 
and shaded by an expression of anxiety and thoughtfulness 
justified and introduced by my situation. This, however, 
is Sunday, and has been gladdened with no sun. So in the 
gloom I may have shaded rather too deeply. This is very 
shameful weather, but very favourable for study. I do my 
endeavour at times, but have neither memory nor perse- 
verance. Oxford is no longer so deeply the object of my 
detestation as it was. I no longer feel -the rigour of its 
exactions ; I don't go to lecture more than thrice a week ; 
and for morning prayers, I have not thought of th^oi this 
half year. That deceitful fellow of a tutor took advantage 
of my ignorimce, and told me nothing but lies. . 
Yours sincerely, &c. F. Jbffrbt. 

T.-r^To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 30th Maich, 1793. 

My dear John* — 

There are no news here but public news, and these are 
too copious, too notorious, and too unpleasing, to be chroni* 
cled by my pen. I care very little in my own person about 
government or politics ; but I cannot see without pain the 
destructive violence of both partitas — a violence which, even 
in its triumph, can never be productive of peace ; since 
opinion is endeared by contradiction — since force is insuffi- 
cient to convince — and since affection is riveted to those 
principles in whose cause we have suffered. Such is the 
state of the public mind, that I get the name of a violent 
man for regretting the effusion of blood, and for wishing 
for universal concord ! 

* Who was in Amerioa. 



Your worship has thought fit to keep me ezcladed from 
the circle of your new friends. But there is nothing in the 
world I detest so much as companions and acquaintances^ 
as they are called. Where intimacy has gone so far as to 
banish jeseryci to disclose character, and to communicate 
the reality of serious opinions, the connection may be the 
source of much pleasure — it may ripen into friendship, or 
subside into esteem. But to know half a hundred fellows 
just so far as to speak and walk 4ind lounge with them ; to 
be acquainted with a multitude of people, for all of whom 
together you do not care one farthing ; in whose company 
you speak without any meaning, and laugh without any 
enjoyment ; whom you leaye without any regret, and rejoin 
without any satisfaction ; from whom you learn nothing, 
and in whom you love nothing — to have such a set for your 
society, is worse than to live in absolute solitude ; and is 
a thousand times more pernicious to the faculties of social 
enjoyment, by circulating in its channels a stream so 
insipid. Thus we form men of the world — ^the most un- 
happy and most unamiable of beings. 

Dear Hiero, yours yery affectionately. 

8. — To Mr. Robert Morehead. 

Edinburgh, 26th June, 1793. 

My dear Robert* — I sit down to write to you at 
present, merely because I feel a conyiction that I ought 
to do so, and an inclination to do so, without any hopes 
of amusing, or great probability of pleasing you. A 
certain load of sensations which possessed me all the 
time I was at Herbertsbire, and which I had not the 
resolution to express, I haye since endeayoured to oyer* 
come, and will not allow myself at present to indulge. 

* Mr. Morehead, senior, had recently died. 


Though I never experienced more sorrow and regret than 
during the period of mj late visit, I am now well pleased 
that I have made it, since I have seen that reality which 
my imagination had so far outgone. '. I will not speak to 
you of what has happened, nor trust myself to offer you 
consolation on a sul)ject where I am not sufficiently 
indifferent to be convincing. We cannot but remember 
such things wore ; nor would we wish, I think, to forget 
them. There is a sanqtity in eUch recolleotions which ele- 
vates and refines ; a tenderness which endears while it 
distresses ; and from which it is not by indifference that we 
wish to be relieved. It is needless to say more. These 
impressions are to be preserved, and to be reserved ; by 
them we are restored to those from whom we have parted, 
and enabled to convense with those who yet live in our 
affections. Yet it is not fit that this temper be indulged to 
the utmost. That unfortunate dispodition of mind which, 
under the cover of an amiable tendency, is apt to establish 
itself in the breast ; which leads us to lose the present in 
the remembrance of the past, and eztel:ids to the entire and 
varied scenes of felicity the gloom which may darken its 
immediate confines ; which broods deeply over calamities 
which admit not of relief, and grows insensible to comfort 
by the habitual contemplation of distress — siich a disposi- 
tion is, of all others, the most to be repressed, and the most 
to be apprehended. We mourn not for the dead, but for 
the living ; we weep for our misfortunes ; and we ought to 
be ashamed of an excess in the indulgence of a feeling 
which borders pretty nearly upon selfishness. I do XM)tsay 
this because I think it applicable or necessary in your case, 
but because I feel it to be true, and because I can say no* 
thing else upon a subject on which it is impossible for me 
to be silent. 

Yours very affectionately. 


9.— To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 2d March, 1794. 

My dear John— I wrote you very lately, indeed in the 
beginning of last week ; sending my letter in a box that 
was to go by Captain Scott, who, I daresay, will not leave 
Britain sooner thq.n this. The easy consciences of our 
ladies are satisfied with the recollection of the recent dis- 
charge, and give no ^tention to the speeches in which I 
have been admonishing them of the hazard to which they 
expose their own regularity, and your tranquillity, by their 
neglect. But I, who possess, as you, an unwearied spirit 
in doing courtesies, have undertaken their task, and their 
apology, &c. 

I have been so closely occupied in hearing and writing 
law lectures ever since November,^ that a short interval of 
leisure very much distresses me ; for the habit I have ac- 
quired of doing nothing but my task, prevents me from 
laying it out to any advantage, and the shortness of its du- 
ration will not allow me to supplant that habit. If this be 
a specimen of the life which I am hereafter to lead, though 
the stupidity which accompanies it may prevent me from 
feeling much actual uneasiness, yet the remembrance of 
other days will always be attended with regret. That sort 
of resignation of spirit which was favoured by the depres- 
sion and the confinement of winter, is beginning to fail on 
the approach of spring ; and, raised by the rustling of the 
western gales, and the buds, and the sun, and the showers, 
my spirits have awakened once again, and are execrating 
the torpor in which they have been lost. This Z write you 
merely because it is what is uppermost in my mind at pre- 
sent, and because I would have you accustomed in due time 
not to look for my success as a man of business. Every 
day I see greater reason for believing, that this romantic 
temper will never depart from me now. Vanity indulged 
it at the first, but it has obtained, the support of habit, and, 
as I think, of reason, &c. — I am, yours very truly. 


10. — To Mr. John Jeffrey, 

Edinburgli, Ist June, 1794. 

My dear John — What shall I say to you now ? or what 
will you say for yourself, when you come to know that we 
have received no letters from you for three months, &c. 

We are in a strange situation enough here. I have often 
determined to send you a detailed account of the state of 
the public mind of this country, but have always wanted 
room, or time, or something, as indeed I do at present. 
However, I must say a few words. Every man, you know, 
who thinks at all, must think differently from every other; 
but there are three parties, I think, distinguishable enough. 
The first, which is the loudest, and I believe the most pow- 
erful, is that of the fierce aristocrats — ^men of war, with 
their swords and their rank — ^men of property, with their 
hands oh their pockets, and their eyes staging wildly with 
alarm and detestation — ^men of indolence and morosity, 
and, withal, men of place and expectation. The desperate 
democrats are the second order — numerous enough too, and 
thriving like other sects under persecution. Most of them 
are led ; so their character is to be taken from that of their 
leaders. These are, for the most part, men of broken for- 
tunes, and of desperate ambition, and animated by views 
very different from their professions. To these are joined 
some, whom a generous and sincere enthusiasm has borne 
beyond their interest ; irritated perhaps excessively at the 
indiscriminating intolerance of the alarmists, and zealous 
in the assertion of some truths, which thoae with whom they 
co-operate have used as a decoy. The third order is that 
of philosophers, and of course very small. These necessa- 
rily vary in their maxims and opinions, and only agree in 
blaming something more Or less in both parties, and in 
endeavouring to reconcile their hostility. We have been 
disturbed by rumours of conspiracy and intended massacre ; 


certainly exaggerated bj the organs of alarm, but probably 
not destitute of all foundation ; and many precautions are 
taking to secure our peace upon the approaching birth- 
day, Ac* 

YoTi will see the progress of the war. I wish you could 
see the end of it, and hope most fervently that it will not 
extend itself between your country and mine, though your 
fortifications and embargo are very ominous. Tell me what 
you think of the mad people of Europe. Such things should 
come near the minds of individuals, and they do occupy a 
large share in ordinary discourse. But in the detail of 
domestic life and spontaneous meditation, which has to dis- 
tinguish the character of men and the objects of their 
genuine regard, I do not perceive that they enter very 
deeply. One speaks upon politics in general company with 
one's acqnaintance ; at home^ and with one's friends, .they 
are scarcely to be heard. Men jest^ and laugh, and sleep, 
and love, and quarrel, without any regard to the state of 
the nation, or much thought of their political duties or 
rights. In this age I fancy it must be so everywhere^ But 
according to these principles, it is treating you like a stran- 
ger to dwell so long upon these topics. Why do you not 
tell me more of the American women, and particularly of 
the fair Quakeress of Boston ? — I am, dear John, yours, &c. 

11.-— To Mr. Robert Morehead. 

Herbertahire, 22d December, 1795. 

My dear Bob — I miss you more here than I did in Edin- 
burgh ; and, though I only came here yesterday, I can live 
to longer without talking to you in some way or other. 
While I was at home, I used to imagine that you were here 
as usual, and did not feel myself more separated than I was 
during the whole of last winter. But here, where I am si) 

* The birthday of George the Thirds on 4th June. 


nmch aecustomed to be with you, I am made sensible of 
wanting you morning, noon, and night, &c. 

Have you ever observed that the letters of friends are 
filled with egotism ? For my part, I think very suspicious- 
ly of every letter that is not, and propose my own as a 
model to you in this respect. Indeed, when a man writes, 
as I do now, merely frx)m the loquacity of friendship, and 
the recollection of personal intimacy, what subject can he 
have but himself, or the person to whom he writes ? . His 
letter, ^therefore, will be a succession of egotisms and 
inquiries, which will fall to be answered by egotisms and 
retaliated inquiries. Such letters are to me always the 
most interesting, and indeed the only interesting ; for sure- 
ly whatever you tell me, or whatever reflection you make, 
might have been conveyed to me I^y any other channel, and 
is only interesting by its distant relation to you. I believe 
this is true with every other composition as well as letters, 
and all the pathetic passages in an author, will be found to 
be egotistical to the feelings of the speaker. For as no 
otiier can feel as strongly a man's situation as himself, his 
own account of it must always be the most animated and 
more engaging, for the most part, than his account of any 
thing else. I don't know why I have been led so far from 
myself as to tell you all this, but I return immediately upon 
recollection. I want to know what you are studying, and 
what distribution you make of your time. I have been 
doing little but vexing myself with law. However, I have 
set to a new history of the Ainerican war, and read Mrs. 
Woolstoncroft's French Revolution and other democratical 
books with great zeal and satisfaction. I wish you would 
tell me about your Balliol political clubs. I have also 
written 600 lines in a translation of the Argos of old Ap- 
poUonius, which I am attempting in the style of Gowper's 
Homer ; and it is not much further below him, than my 
original is under his. We have had no sunshine nor frost 
here for three weeks, and are almost melted with rain. The 


Garron is bellowing with a most ^dreadful violence at this 
moment, &c. 

12. — To Mr. Robert Morehead. 

Edinburgh, 7th May, 1796. 

Bobby, man — ^What are you doing ? If I have written 
you three letters, why do you not write me three ? Are 
we to relapse again into our obsolete style of apologies and 
reproaches ? &c. I almost forgot to tell you that I attend- 
ed at the commemoration of the first of May,* in spite of 
your absence, and wearied almost as much as I used to do 
when you were there. The elocution was rather worse than 
that of last year, nor was any thing very different^ or re- 
markable, but the abilities of young Watt,t who obtained 
by far the greatest number of prizes, and degraded the 
prize readers most inhumanly by reading a short composi- 
tion of his own, a translation of the chorus in the Medea, 
with so much energy and grace, that the verses seemed to 
me better perhaps than they were in reality. He is a 
young man of very eminent capacity, and seems to have all 
the genius of his father, with a great deal of animation and 
ardour which is all his own. I expected at one time to 
have had an opportunity of making myself more intimately 
acquainted with him, as he engaged to walk with me from 
Glasgow to Edinburgh, but was prevented by some orders 
from his father, so I came alone. I shall be constantly 
here, I suppose, till after your arrival in Scotland — an 
event to which we can now look forward with some distinct- 
ness and certainty. You will not find me, I believe, very 
much of a lawyer, either in employment or conversation, nor 
indeed' much altered, I fancy, from what I was when you 
saw me last. — I am, dear Bob, most truly yoUrs. 

* The annual prize distribution at Glasgow College. 

t Gregory Watt, a son of James Watt, who, after giying eyidence of 
talents worthy of his Illustrious father, died in his twenty->-seYenth year, 
in 1806. 


13. — To Mr, John Jeffrey. 

Edinbmgh, 20th May, 1796 

My dear John — I wrote you in the beginning of this 
monthy and promised, and meant to have written you again 
within a shorter time than I have abready permitted to pass. 
I have been ever since, indeed, most abominably idle^ and 
neglected every kind of duty and engagement. I have a 
way, too, of replying to my conscience, when it importunes 
me on your behalf, that I have already done a great deal 
more than I was bound to do, and that if I' do neglect you 
for a little while, it is but a fair and slight return for the 
many omissions of which you have already been guilty. If 
you were to make it an excuse that you have nothing to 
say, it would not be true ; for I have asked you a hundred 
questions lifhich you have never yet answ^ed,and it would 
besides be an excuse which I have never allowed to seduce 
me, though it be continually present to me, and does very 
well to palliate the stupidity of my letters, though I will 
not let it prevent me from writing them. 

It is now just about a year since you visited us here, 
though it seems to me, upon recollection, the shortest year 
that I ever spent. If they go on shortening as they mul- 
tiply upon us, we shall grow old in such a hurry that our 
schemes of life will be left unfinished^ and we shall scarcely 
know how we have lived when we are summoned to die. 
For my part, I have such a deal of business upon my hands, 
that I must be allowed a good long day to finish it in. I 
have to visit one-half at least of the nations of the earth, 
and gather together one-half of its learning. Then I have 
to seek me out some angelic partner, and engender a dozen 
or two of children, and educate them after our own image. 
And, above all, and what should have come first, I have to 
acquire a comfortable fortune, and a pretty independence 
of all men and all events. Of this I have not yet seen the 

Vol. II.— 3 


beginning, and am better pleased, indeed, to imagine the 
end than to investigate how I am likely to get at it. 

But not to wander any further, which, in my American 
correspondence, I feel myself much tempted to do, I have to 
satisfy you in a few words as to all your friends here, by 
informing you that they remain so much in the conditioa 
in which you left them, that it is impossible forme, who 
have be^n continually with them, to discover saij change. 
My father, I think, is rather better if any thing, although 
almost as desperate an aristocrat as before, &c. 

Our friend Dr. Spence protests that be will be on your 
continent m a month or two. , His affairs in Carolina are 
not yet managed to his satisfaction^ and the opportunity 
of Pinkney's retreat tempts him with the prospect of go<^ 
accommodation* I do not think he will go, and wish he 
would send me ;— -for to, come to myself^ I am doing very 
little here, and see the competition of interest and relation-' 
ship grow so extenf^ve every day in our profession, that, 
with all the sanguine spirits in the world, I cannot believe 
that my share of its profits will ever be worth very muclu 
I spend my time, however, in gratitude to Providence I 
must say it, more pleasantly at present than if I were more 
employed in the law. I read Don Quixote and l4opez de 
Yega in Spanish, and work away in iny Greek translations 
with a fine poetical fury. Within these ten days I have 
alBO begun a course of medical reading, and expect to de* 
serve a degree before the end of summer. It is the finest 
weather in the world. The whole country i* covered with 
green and blossoms. And the sun shines perpetually 
through a light east wind, which would have brought you 
here from Boston since it began to blow. Write me a long 
account of your situation, your prospects, metamorphoses, 
and meditations ; and, above all, if you must become weary 
in the cause of writing to me, do not at least let me see it 
so plainly, nor lengthen out a languid page with laborious 
sentences, &c. 


14, — To George J. Belly Esq. 

HerbertaMre, 7th October, 1796. 

D^r Bell — You take your turn, I see, to rage and re- 
vile. I like to see that. It gives me courage, and excuses 
for going on in my favourite style when my turn comes 
round again. You have taken a long time, however, to 
reply to the letter which put you into such a passion. 
Now^ my furies are a great deal more natural, for they 
assault immediately upon provocation. However, we shall 
make some allowance for your prodigious business and 
natural proneness to anger, and say no more about it, &c, 

I pass my time here much more to my own satisfaction. 
When my friend Bob is absent I am rarely visible till din- 
ner-time^ and read and write in so great a variety of acts 
and interludes, that there is almost as little fatigue as in- 
struction in it. As I have given myself no task, I think 
myself privileged to be idle. So I exult and compliment 
myself whenever I. do any thing, and feel no remorse when 
I do nothing, and I never do worse. I have had a little 
experiment of solitude for two days past — ^the whole house- 
hold having been engaged one day to a formal visitation, 
and the next to the county ball ; and I having obstinately 
refused to accompany them to either, I have been left to 
the absolute and uncontrolled possession of the house ; and 
have spent two such tranquil, romantic days, that I am 
determined to get a cottage, or a tub, or some such con- 
venience, for myself in a wilderness next summer, and 
purify and exalt myself by my own conversation for some 
months. I think I must make the experiment of eating 
grass, or some other kind of provender, for it would quite 
destroy the elegance of my seclusion to have a baker's boy 
and a butcher and an old woman continually intruding 
upon me. Nothing can be more ridiculous than the way 
in which men live together in society, and the patience 


with which they submit to the needless and perpetual re- 
straint that they occasion to one another ; and the worst 
of it is, that it spoils them for any thing better, and makes 
a gregarious animal of a rational being. I wish I had 
learned some mechanical trade, and would apply to it yet, 
were it not for a silly apprehension of silly observation. 
At present I am absolutely unfit for any thing ; and, with 
middling capacities, and an inclination to be industrious, 
haVe as reasonable a prospect of starving as most people I 
know. I do not think our profession will do for me, for, 
except through the patronage of my friends, I have yet 
found no employment in it ; and I do not at present recol- 
lect any other kind of occupation, except, indeed, the old 
ones of digging or begging, for ^hich I am at all qualified. 
This is lamentable enough^ particularly in this age of poli- 
tics, and to a man who has such a disposition toward mar- 
riage, and beneficence, and reformation, as I have. 

I am so perfectly undecided as to my future motions 
during this vacation, that I cannot give you the least inti- 
mation of the time when I shall' visit Cults. I like to 
reserve for every moment of my time the privilege of 
choosing its own occupation, and see no necessity for tying 
myself down by promises to do what I may afterward dis- 
like, or even for perplexing myself with inquiries into my 
own intentions, and the probability of my future inclina- 
tions. However, if my friend Bob sets out for Oxford from 
Glasgow, I shall probably go there with him in the end of 
next week ; and then there is a good chance for my passing 
by Cults to Edinburgh, though I may be disposed, perhaps, 
rather to go into the Highlands a little way, and return to 
Edinburgh by Dunkeld and St. Andrews. However, I 
shall take care to let you know before I come upon you. 
We have a blue sky here, and white clouds^ very prettily 
fancied ; clear northern gales from the shady ridges above 
us, and a very good allowance of sunshine for the fading 
woods and the foamy streams. The banks of the Carroa 


are extremely beaatiful here, and have all varieties at large, 
in the course of five miles ; cultivated plains, with com, 
trees, villages, manufactures, and policies;* rocky and 
woody glens of all shapes and sizes ; and desolate valleys, 
between stony mountains, and breezy sloping pastures. 
It would be worth your while to come and see them before 
the leaves fall. I can assure you an hospitable reception. 
If you should not like it, you will return to Cults and Lord 
Stair with increased relish. I am glad to hear you are 
studying anatomy. It is better than law. But the heart 
and the blood-vessels, I am afraid, would be too much for 
my nerves. I wish you would explain them to me, with* 
out making me think of my own. — I am always most truly 

15, — To Mr. Robert Morehead. 

Edinbargh, 26th November, 1796. 
My dear Bob — I have been pestered with a great deal 
of insignificant and unprofitable business ; till I have got 
into such a habit of complaining, that I can scarcely help 
murmuring even when I get a fee. In these moments I 
envy you exceedingly, and think that I should be almost 
quite happy if I had nothing to do but read and amuse 
myself from one week to another. It would not be t}ie 
case, however. A man must have something to do in order 
to prevent him from wearying of his own existence ; and 
something it must be, imposed upon him to do, uiider more 
precise and specific penalties than that of the mere weari- 
ness that he would feel by neglecting it. So that if he be 
not in* such a situation as will sometimes oblige him to 
complain of the drudgery to which he is tasked, he will 
generally find himself in a situation much more to be 
complained of. This is a very comfortable philosophy, 
and very convenient for the cure of discontent, though it is 

* The Scotch term for pleasure-grounds. 


often rejected when the fit is on, and can only be forced 
down by great vigour and perseverance on the part of the 
pre8criber« Taken, however, along with a due proportion 
of exp^ience, it has been found very efficacious las a pre- 
ventative. Though I have so much business as to need 
the application of these profound reflections, I begin to 
weary of myself too, I think, sometimes, and take up a 
very contemptible notion of the value of my solitary em- 
ployments. I find that I can order my own thoughts, 
and pursue to a clear conclusion any speculation that 
occurs, with infinitely greater ease in the course of con- 
versation, than by thinking or writing in my study ; and 
that, independently of the information I may derive by 
observing the course of thought in my companions. I 
have determined to extend my acquaintance a little wider 
this season than I have hitherto done, and to accustom 
myself to that extemporary exertion which the purposes 
of society require. One is apt, I know, to conceive an 
undue contempt for the world by living too much apart 
from it ; and to acquire a kind of dictatorial and confident 
manner by pursuing all one's speculations without the inter-^ 
ference of anybody, or the apprehension of any corrector. 
My situation is not very favourable to any scheme of 
making new acquaintances ; but this will only lead me to 
make them more select, as it will limit them to a few. I 
read nothing but the most idle kind of books, and write 
nothing but what I am paid for, except these letters to you, 
and one or two more, who are contented to take them as 
they are. Of my reading, and the profit I am likely to 
derive from it, you may judge from the pile of books that 
were brought up to me half an hour ago from the library. 
There are letters from Scandinavia, a collection of curious 
observations upon Africa, Asia, and America, a book of 
old travels, and an absurd French folio romance, and I 
don't know what besides. I ought to mention, though, that 
I have begun to read Plato's Republic, though I advance 

DO fits BROTBBR. 81 

unih ft most cautiotifl slowness in it« I bave resolved toO| 
as I believe I told you before, to read a regular course of 
chemistry this season, and am just wavering and deciding 
whether I should enter into a class for the winter that will 
be formed in a week bei^eafter. Fray, Bob^ are you a de« 
mocrat ? or what ? You need not be afraid of my exposing 
you. I shall keep any thing Secret that you please ; but I do 
not wish you to have these things quite a secret from me^ 
and. am especially unwilling to l6t you still keep your sen^* 
timents of them a secret from yourself* You need have no 
apprehensions either lest I should fill my letters with po* 
litical discussions. They are too laborious to suit the 
temper in which I usually write to you, and too large to 
take their place^ within the limits of a letter; I forgot in 
my last to take any notice of your plan of study. I am 
glad that the view you have taken of it gave you pleasure 
aud humiliation* These are exactly the emotions which 
will secure youl: improvement, and are symptoms as favour* 
able as could have appeared* You ure quite right, I think, 
in the distribution you have made of your time, except that 
to prescribe a Certain occupation, even to days, is perhaps 
still too minute* You can have no better regulator than 
your own successive opinions* Let me hear from you, dear 
Bobby, very soon, and inform me of any thing I used to 
ask. Brieve me always, my dear Bob, mo^t truly yours. 

16.— To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

aiMgow» 12th NoTember, 1797. 
My dear Citizen— rl received your last letter two or three 
days ago, and should have been very angry, I believe, not- 
withstanding your compliments and contrition, for not 
receiving it sooner^ had I not heard a great deal about you, 
a week before from your friend Bobby Sinclair. I am 
really growing a very bad correspondent myself, and am 
so much humiliated at the perception of this degeneracy, 


that I Iiaye not the heart to blame any other body for re- 
sembling me, &c. 

I took a fit of impatience about three days ago ; and, 
considerixig that in less than aireek I would be ehained up 
for the ifhole winter, I left aH my papers in the middle, 
and scampered away to Herbertshire, from which I came 
here yesterday with my friend Bob, who has changed his 
resolution t)nce more, and has determined to attend Millar's 
lectures in this place through the winter. He has evidently 
a hankering after the Scotch bar, though he says he has 
decided upon nothing, and merely attends this course as the 
most improving that offers itself while he is uncertain. I 
return again to Edinburgh to-morrow, and begin the labours 
of the session on the day following. 

I am glad you talk so confidently about coming here in 
the course of the winter. You will find us aU, I think, in 
the same situation you left us in, with the exception of 
some capital improvements in my .person and dispositions, 
which it would be of more importance for. you to see and 
imitate, than to run round all Europe in the way you have 
been doing. One singular grace I flatter myself I have 
improved very much since I saw you, and that is political 
moderation. You talk to me about my democracy. I am 
the most moderate of all people. I have no hopes scarcely 
to be disappointed in, and put no confidence in any party 
or any professions. I shall talk to you like an oracle on 
these subjects^ and make your hair stand on end with 
astonbhment at the liberality and wisdom of a man who 
has never been out of Scotland. But I write very tediously 
upon them ; at least, I weary myself even before I have 
begun. My hands are quite frozen, and I have a great 
number of things to do before dinner yet. I am always, 
dear Oit., very affectionately yours. 


17. — To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinbnrc^, 2lBt NoTember, 1797. 

My Aaw CitiiBeii. — ' 

I am at this soiomeiit exceedingly basyi aod ba?e ae 
leisure even to send you that soold, which does not eome so 
readily to me as it. once did.. I am not only in the begin* 
ning of the session, vrhen (in consequence of the vis inertim 
which I have been cherishing in the vacation) Jt always re- 
quires a great deal more labour to do less work ; but as the 
President has been ^ery sick for these two days, and I am 
determined to make a hard push for the chair, in ease of a 
vacancy, you will easily understand that I am very much en- 
gaged with my canvass, and have very little time to spare 
fir(Mn the fatigue of bribing, and promising, and corrupting. 
Indeed I could ^ot have offered to write to you at all at 
thia busy time, if I could have afforded to go on without 
you ; but my funds are almost exhausted, and I am under 
die necessity of applying to yeu for a remittance, &c 

Tell me some mpre of your, way of life, and the emi- 
^ants, with whom you are corruptbg. The greater part 
of them are fools, I fancy ; not exactly for leaving France, 
but for having been bred in itlike noUemen and courtiers. 
The women, I suppose, are the best. What is their charao* 
ter in poverty and humiliation ? I really pity these people. 
But so much of their unhappiness arises from the loss of 
what was truly of no value, and it would take so much, not 
merely of money, but of liberty and common sense, to sa- 
tisfy them entirely, that it is wrong even to wish for it, and 
better,, upon the whole, to let these things remain with their 
present possessors. I am not much afraid of your growing 
too mucb of an aristocrat* There never will be another 
race of these fanatics. The thing (in its madness and abuse) 
]£ quite tit an end. Do not write me any more politics, 
unless it be anecdotes or news. — Very affectionately yours. 


18. — To Mr. Robert Morehead, 

Edinbiirgh, 6tli AvgUBt, 179& 

l/Tell, I owe 70a a letter, I suppose, Bobby. And 
what then ? That may be many an honest man's case as 
well as mine ; and there may be apologies^ I suppose, and 
whys and wherefores, of which you know nothing, nor I 
neither* I will make you no apology. I have forgiven 
you ten letters in my time, and- wrote on without calcu- 
lating the amount of my debt, &c. Why do I write you 
this, Bobby? or why, in my present humour, do I write 
you at all ? Principally, I believe, to tell you that I ex- 
pect very soon to see you, and to tell you that there is no 
person whom I think of seeing with greater pleasure, or 
toward whom it would be more unjust to suspect me of 
forgetfulness or unkindness. I have said very soon, but I 
do not mean immediately— two lines will tell you the 
whole. Dr. Thomas Brown and I (your brother John will 
join us, I believe) propose to set out about the end of this 
month, and to travel in yoiir track (only reversedly) 
through Cumberland and Wales, till we fall in with you at 
Oxford, or somewhere else, on our way to London. What^ 
my dear Bobby, are we turning into ? I grow, it appears 
to myself, dismally stupid and inactive. I lose all my 
originalities, and ecstasies, and romance, and am far ad- 
vanced already upon that dirty highway called the way of 
the world. I have a kind ojT unmeaning gayety that is 
fatiguing and unsatisfactory, even to myself; and though, 
in the brilliancy of this sarcastic humour, I can' ridicule 
my former dispositions with admirable success, yet I regret 
the loss of them much more feelingly, and really begin to 
suspect that the reason and gross common sense by which 
I now profess to estimate every thing, is just as much a 
vanity and delusion as any of the fantasies it judges of. 
This at least I am sure of, that these poetic visiona bestowed 
a much purer and more tranquil happiness than can be 


found in any of the tumaltaous and pedantic triumphs that 
seem now within my reach ; and that I was more amiable, 
and quite ns respectable, before this change took place in 
my character. 1 shall never arrive at any eminence either 
in this new character; and have glimpses and retrospective 
snatches of my fbrmer self, so frequent and so lively, that 
I shall never be wholly estranged from it, nor more than 
half the thing I seem to be driving at. Within these few 
days I have been more perfectly restored to my poesies 
and sentimentalities than I had been for many months 
before. I walk out every day alone, and as I wander by 
the sunny sea, or over the green and solitary rocks of 
Arthur's Seat, I feel as if I had escaped from the scenes 
of impertinence on which I had been compelled to act, 
and recollect, with somie degree of my old enthusiasm, the 
inli walks and eager conversation we lised to take together 
at Herbertshire about four years ago. I am still capable, 
I feel, of going back to these feelings, and would seek my 
happiness, I think, in their indulgence, if my circumstances 
woidd let me. As it is I believe I shall go on sophisti- 
cating and, perverting myself till I become absolutely good 
{ot nothing, &c. — Truly and aflFectionately yours. , 

19.-370 Mr. John Jeffrey. 

BdinbTtrgh, 4th March, 1799. 

My dear John — I wrote you a dull letter of news yester- 
day, for the packet, and have tasked myself to make a 
kind of duplicate of it, to go by some ship or other from 
London, &c. 

My first article of intelligence relates to our poor 
grandmother's death. ' She died on the 22d of last month ; 
and as literally and truly of old age, I believe, as any of 
the_old patriarchs did. She had been wasting away, by 
sensible degrees, for several months, and died at last with- 
out pain or struggle. It was an event so long expected 
that it occasioned little, emotion to anybody. Miss Crockett, 


who was naturally most affected b j it, very aoon recovered 
jjier ordinary spirits and tranquillity. I declare to you,. I 
dp not know anybody so worthy of admiration and esteem 
aa this^ cousin of ours. She has sac^rifioed, not only her 
yonth and bev comfort, to the discharge of an uninteresting 
duty^^ but baa Toluntarily given up the impovement of her 
manners and her. understanding for the eiake of it. Yet 
it rec^uires reflection to find out all the merit ; and there 
was someUiing so unostentatious,^ and unaffected, in the 
whole course of, het attention,, that it never struck us as 
a thing to be wondered at, kc^ 

Mary is domesticating with h^r husband, her child, aitd 
her eat. Indeed, she scarcely ever stirs from the fireside, 
and having got another child to bring into existence by 
and by» is so full of anxieties and apprehensions, that I 
believe she scarcely thinks of any thing that is not within 
her own gates^ Examples of this kind really give me a 
horror of matrimony ; at least, they persuade me more and 
more of the necessity there is for completing one's stores 
of. information, and sources of reflection and entei'tainment, 
beforo they enter into it There is no possibility of im- 
provement afterward; that is, if one is really to live, a 
matrimonial life. 

Now, for myself and my system of nerves ; I believe 
they are muph better, I thank you, than they were when 
you saw me in London. I have not givei^ them fair play 
either, since my return to this country, and have not had 
the virtue to fulfil every part of the moral regimen which 
my doctors concurred in recommending to me. However, 
as I have survived the winter, I make no question of get- 
tiog, quite well before midsummer, and have no fear of 
e¥er falling into the same state again. So much for goods 
of the body. As to the goods of fortune, I can say but 
litde for myself. I have got no legacies, and discovered 
no treasure,, since you went away ; and for the law and its 
honours and emoluments,, I do not seem to be any nearer 

TO monaB J6SEra bbll. Sf 

them thtsm I wwi the first year I called myself a pirabti- 
tioner. One is quite buried here, among a great crowd 
■of inen ^ decent abilities and mod<irate expectation, and 
it is almost necessary that some great man, or some great 
luscideut, shoidd pull you out of it, before you can come 
into a^ Idnd ^f desirable notice. Geo. Bell, honest man, 
is writtng a great bM>ok, upon which be mewns to raise 
himself (as a pedestal) above i^ heads of all his contemn 
poraries* I ha^e not patience for that; at least, I should 
likie to see hctw the experiment answers before I think of 
r^eating it. JohA Wylde**" dashed his brains out, by a 
fall from an •elevation of tiiat 'kind, &;c. 

I want to hear, too, whether yoa intend to marry im- 
mediately^ or take another survey of our European beau- 
ties before you attach yourself irrevocably. For my 
part, I think I should marry in the covrse of this cen* 
tury, if I had only money enough to «ubsi0t upon. For 
the woman, I have xio doubt I should find one to my mind 
in a fortnight ; and^ indeed, I know more than half a 
dozen as it is, with whom, upon a shorter notice, I am 
positive, I could become as much in lore «8 it is at all 
necessRiry for an afiair of that nature. 

I begin to despair now of the fortunes of Europe, and 
scarcely know what to advise the princes and potentates 
to do for themselves. Something, however, must be done 
for them speedily, and a hint from you would, I doubt 
not, be of. the greatest service to them, &o. — Most affeo« 
tionately yours. 

20.— Zb 0e(>rffe J. BeU, Ikq. 

Montrose, 26th August, 1799. 

Dear Bell — Here we are,^ only at Montrose yet, you 
see ; and it is only by wondrous exertions that we have 

* «' John Wylde, aflerwsrd Professor of Citil Lair, and who has now^ 
aUtfi I sur^yed his oim fertile and riohly-endowed ttind."^MACKiiVTO0S. 

88 . tm 09 LOBD JXFFBBT. 

got 80 far. We stopped for two days at Perthy hoping 
for places in the mail, and then set forward on foot in 
despair. We have trudged it now for fifty mileSy and 
came iiere this morning very weary, sweaty, and filthy. 
Our baggage, which was to have left Perth the same day 
that we did, has not yet made its appearance, and we 
have received the comfortable information that it is often 
a week before there is room in the mail to bring such a 
parcel forward. In this forlorn situation we have done 
what we could. We have made clean the outside of the 
platter, shaved and washed our faces, turned our neck- 
cloths, brushed our pantaloons, and anointed our hair with 
honey water; and so we have been perambulating the 
city, and have accepted an invitation from Mr. William 
Baillie, writer in Edinburgh, to whom John Taylor had 
fortunately given us a letter. Is this account enough of 
our proceedings, do you think ? or must I describe Scone 
%ai Glammis Castle to you, and give you a picture of 
Forfar, Brechin, and the Grampians? You shall have 
all that when I come home; for down goes every thing 
into my journal ; though^ tQ confess the truth, I have been 
obliged to write Bob's ever since we left Perth, having 
packed up my oim by mistake in my trunk. 

The weather has been delightful ever since we set out, 
(a special providence no doubt,) and we have been quite 
well, (all except my nose, which is still in a perilous way, 
and threatens a new eruption very soon again,) and in ex- 
cellent humour. Bob lugs along with him, in his bo^om, 
an4 his breeches, and one way or another, a volume of 
Petrarch, a Northern Tour, and a volume of Cicero ; so 
we have occupation enough when we do not choose to 
talk, and have succeeded wonderfully in making sonnets 
and Sapphics upon all the oddities we have met with. 
Montrose is a good, gay-looking place. It was furiously 
gay indeed yesterday, being the last day of the races, and 
a mercy it was we did not come, weary and way-worn, (as 


'we once intended,) into it in the evening, for there was 
not a corner into which thej' could have stowed ns. We 
shall be in Aberdeen to-morrow, I think, or Monday at 
the latest, and shall go out of it, if possible, on Thursday. 
One day's races, (and they begin upon Wednesday) being, 
I take it, quite enough for us. I am not sure if we shall 
diverge at all to Peterhead, our money and our time both 
running away faster than we expected. At Fort George 
we shall som upon Morehead,**" and borrow money from 
him too, if very much exhausted. 

I got your letter the morning before I left Edinburgh ; 
it prevented me from cs^Uing upon you. Your friend 
Keayt does not live within twelve miles from Perth, so 
we have not been near him. It is very near Dunkeld, 
however, through which we mean to return, and then your 
recommendation (if it have not fallen under the negative 
prescription) may be of some use to us. Is not Snego, or 
some such word, the name' of his estate? You have 
given me but a very loose direction to him. You must 
write to me to Aberdeen, (which you may do well enough 
by Tuesday's post,) and let me know how Edinburgh has 
borne my departure. Call for my sister, too, if you be 
idle enough, and inform her of my survivance. I shall 
write to her to-morrow from whatsoever place I may be 
in. Ten me, too, what you are doing yourself, and how 
the book comes on. You have a little propensity to de- 
spondency and impatience, in which my philosophy cannot 
indulge you. A pretty fellow to be discontented, to be 
sure! Would you more than live? But you must not 
marry, forsooth! So much the better, for a while yet. 
In short, a man should always hope and project for the 
future ; and then, you know, when he does die, it is only 
want of time that prevented his prosperity. If Kinnaird 

* John Morehead, a militia officer. 

t The father of Jeffrey's future friend, Jamee Keaj, £sq., of Snaigo. 


had died of this lever, what advantage would h<6 have had 
over me duriDg his life? and if I die Ia a year or two, 
what disadvantage shall I have sustained . from my want 
.of fortune and provision for fifty yeaes, which will eitiier 
provide for themselves or never exist for me 7 This is 
Montrose formality^ I fancy; for I feel as if it were in- 
spired into me against my irilL At any rate^ I am detetv- 
mined not to be answerable for it, and hope I shall hear 
no more of it« Farewell, my dear Bell, and believe that 
I think of you always with .the respect and affection you 
deserve. That is an equivoque, I believe,. though I think 
net, as there is nothing equivocal ia the distinotien with 
which you have always treated me. I mean to meditate 
a great Work during the leisure of this journey; but .should 
like to have a hint or suggestion or two to set me going. 
I do not think I should ever have had the grace to be 
ashamed of my indolence^ of my own aocord ; but my 
friends h^ve wellnigh persuaded me into a state of bom- 
ble remorse^ and now I can neither be busy nor idle with 
any comfort. A very delectable dilemma, out of which 
you nrast help me. I do not caif« yerj much at which 
side. — Believe me, dear Bell, very sincerely yours. 

Saturday. — ^P, S. If you are laxy, or busy, and do not 
choose to write to Aberdeen, at the post-office, do at the 
post-office, InvemesSy where I shall be in |en days* 

21.— lb Bobert Marehead* 

Edinburgfa, 2Dth fiep«embef , 4799. 

My dear Bobby — 1 am happy to tell you that I found 
Mainie* almost entirely recovered from ket late illness, 
and in every r^espeet a great deal better than I had expect- 
ed. This is the first chapter, and now I come to inyself ; 
and a whole chapter of accidents I have to indite upon that 
subject, though I am not sure if I sliall have the patience 

* His sister Mary. 


M present you with the whole of it. I wm roued icare* 
fsllj half an hear before four yesterday morning, aad 
paased two deligbtfal hours in the kitdsen waiting for the 
maiL There was an enormous fire, and a whole houseful 
of svkoke. The waiter was snoxing with great ydbemency 
upon one of the dressers, and the deep regular intonation 
lubd a very soieian «fiecty I can assure you, in tbe obaouri- 
ty of tbat Tartarean region, and the melancholy sHenee of 
the morning* An innumerable number of rats were trot" 
ting and gibbering in one end of the place, and the rain 
clattered freah^ on the windows. The dawn heavily in 
clouds brou^ on the day, but not, alas ! the mail ; and it 
was long past five when the guard came galloping into the 
j^xif -upon a amohing Jioree with all the wet bags lumber- 
ing beside, him, (like Scylla's water dogs,) roaring out that 
the coach was broken down somewhere near Dundee^ and 
commanding another 6teed to be got ready for his trans* 
portalaon. The noise he made brought out the oth^er two 
sleepy wretches that had been waiting like myself for 
places, and we at length persuaded the heroic champion to 
order a post-chaise instead of « horse; into which we 
crammed oorselves all four with a whole mountain of 
leather hags, that dung about oar \egi liko the entrails of 
a fat cow, all thereat of the joorney. At Kinross, as the 
morning waa very fine, we prevail^ with the guard to go 
on the ovtside to dry himself, and got on to the ferry about 
eleven, after encountering variottB perils and vozations, in 
the lose of horse-shoes and wheel pine, and in a great gap 
in the road, oFer wUch. we had to lead the horses and haul 
the carriage separatdy. At this place we supplicated our 
agitator for leave to eat a little breakfast ; but be would 
not stop an instant, akid we were obliged to snatch up a 
roll or two apiece to ^aw the dry crutfts during our pas- 
sage to keep fioul and body together. We got in soon after 
one, and I have spent my time in eating, drinking, sleep- 
ing, and other recreations, down to the present hour. This 



is the Gonolusion of my journal you see. Yours is not in 
such forwardness. But I hope the part of it that has 
been performed out of my guidance ha(s been prosperous 
and agreeable. I rather, think my return must have been 
a riddance to you, for I was both dull and ill-tempered du- 
ring the last days of our travelling, &c. 

And now farewell to you, mj trusty travelling compa- 
nion. We shall make another trip together again, I hope, 
very soon ; and, in the mean time, try to make as few trips 
as possible asunder. I atn persuaded that they are good 
things both for the mind and the body, and are very 
amusing, both past, present, and future ; which is more 
than you can say of any other kind of gratification. 

Remember nie very kindly to Mrs. Morehead, and her 
children twain, Mrs. B. and all the other members of that 
illustrious family, to all my friends and acquaintances, and 
lastly, to the whole human race, rich and poor, friends aiid 
foes. Amen.— I am, dear Bob, always most affectionately 

22.— 2^0 Bobert Morehead. 

EdinbTirgli, 6th July, 1800. 

My dear Bob— I am am d^sespoir at your silence. I 
beg you would give me sovie satis&otion, &c. 

I have been idle an4 rather dissipated all this summer. 
Of late I have had fits of discontent and self-condemnation 
pretty severely, but I doubt if this will produce any thing 
for a long time to come. The thing, however, will certain- 
ly draw to a crisis in a year or two. My ambition and my 
prudence and indolence will have a pitched battle, and I 
shall either devote myself to ambition and toil, or lay my- 
self quietly down in obscurity and mediocrity of attainment. 
I am not sure which of these will promote my happiness 
the most, I shall regret what I have forfeited, be my de- 
cision what it may. The unaspiring life, I believe, has the 
least positive wretchedness. I have often thought of going 


to Indi^, but I do not know for what station I should be 
qualified, or could qualify myself, and I hare almost as 
little talent for solicitation as you haye. 

I have been reading Malcolm Laing's new Scotch his- 
tory. It is of a miserable period, and not the author's 
fault that it contains little but the disgusting and c<;m- 
temptible quarrels of prelates and presbyteries^ and the 
mean tyrannies of privy councils and commissions. It is 
written with some spirit, and in a style more precise and 
forcible, than elegant or correct. There is an elaborate 
dissertation against your friend Ossian, which will not ap» 
pear so satisfactory to the reader as it seems to have 
done to the author. However, my faith (or infidelity 
rather) has been long inclining to that E\ide. Bur^s's 
complete Works are also come out ; the life I have not 
read. It is, I believe, by Gurrie and Boscoe. Some of 
the songs are enchantingly beautiful, and afiect one more 
than any other species of poetry whatsoever. The faci- 
lity and rapidity with which he appears to have composed 
them amaze me. Indeed, his whole correspondence (al- 
though infected now and then with a silly afiectation of 
sentiment, and some commonplaces of adulation) gives 
me a higher opinion both of his refinement and real mo- 
de%ty of character than any thing he had formerly pub- 

I un become a zealous chemist, and could make experi- 
ments, if I could afibrd it, and was not afraid of my eyes. 
I shall join a society in winter that conducts these things 
in a very respectable style. I am afraid it will swallow 
up our academy^ for which I am sorry. It was the most 
select and the least burdensome thing of the kind I was 
ever concerned with. But amiable licentiousness and want 
of discipline have extinguished it, or nearly. — Believe me 
always, dear Bob, most affectionately yours. 


28.— 2V Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edmbnrgli, Ist October, 1800. 

My dear John — I am vexed to think that the packet 
for this month will be gone before this reach it ; but I 
only returned to town last night, and, in the hnrry of tra- * 
▼elling, forgot that the irrevocable day was going by, Ac. 

It is not a very wise thing, I believe, to talk to a man 
of his own situation, or to amuse him with conjectures 
about it, founded on his own information three months 
before. Tou w:ill learn more, I believe, from what I may 
tell you of myself. First, then, we are all well. Secondly^ 
Marion was married in June last, (which I have now an- 
nounced to you four several times.; Wiirdly, Mary has 
another daughter. Fourthly, so has Mrs. Murray; that 
is to say, she has r child, but it is r son, and its name is 
Thomas. She waB almost dead in the bringing forth of it, 
but is now so well as to have been returning thanks in 
church, and to huve eaten up all the christening-cake, to 
my great disappointment. Fifthly, I am not married, but 
desperately in love, and they say engaged ; but that you 
need not believe. Sixthly, I have been making a tour in 
the north, and have spent all my money. I cannot count 
any further, and have not much more to inform you of. 
Our tour this year was not very extensive ; but it was very 
agreeable. I went with my old travelling companion Bob 
Morehead, and picked up my friends Horner and Murray 
on the way. We set out by going to the top of Benlo- 
mond, and to the bottom of the Loch ; and then passed 
along Loch Katterine and Loch Yanacher and Loch Lub- 
naig, and twenty other lochs, I believe, with names as 
. unutterable, and borders as savage, as any you have in 
America. We came down the Tay to Dtindee, and then I 
scrambled over the sand-hills to St. ^Andrews, where I 
have been purifying my mind and body by bathing and 
the society of innocent girls, for this last fortnight. You 

. T^ ma BBOTHIB. 4S 

aste Boi a«qiMiike«d, I believe, with oTir oousinsy the Wil- 
mis of that asieieat city. The moat learned and corpa- 
lent dieetor, I beHeve^ yoa have seen. He has three 
danghtersy in wbom I delighted extremely. The place is 
Bwarmi&i; irith beauties indeed ^ and what with the idle» 
iiefis and the mnooeaoe of my occupations there, I do not 
think that a more enchanting fortnight has been passed 
by man since the fall, &c. 

I have been ao long exhorted by all my friends to write 
a book, that I have a great notion that I shall attempt 
something of that kind in the coarse of the winter. I 
have not beea able to fix upon any subject yet though ; 
and I am afraid, a man is not likely to make a good figure 
who writes, not because he has something to say, but who 
easts about for something to say because he has determined 
to write. A law book would, probably, be of the greatest 
service to me ; but I have ^neither science nor patienco 
enough, I suspect, to acquire it. — ^Believe me always, my 
dear John, very affectionately yours. 

24.— Tb Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 29th NoTember, 1800. 

My dear Johik — I have^, at laat^ a letter of yours to ac- 
knowledge^ Jbc 

The first weeks of the session have passed over very 
heavily* I spent the vacation, though, very delightfully ; 
and this la one reason, I daresay, for the discontent I 
have felt since. However,, I am, upon the whole, a happy 
animal, and have myore reason to«be happy than I have the 
eonscionca to confess. It is the want of money and the 
want of any security for the futurej^ that, plagues me the 
BUttt. I am b^i^ning. almost to grow old now.. It is 
tisM, at bast, that I should bid farewell to the mere levi- 
ties and earelessaess of youth, and enter myself, somehow 
or other, upon the valued fiU of men. I have strong pro- 
poiaities to matrimony, too, and temptations that I scarcely 


know bow to resist. Yet it is a sad thing to take an 
amiable girl to starve ber, or to sink below tbat level to 
wbicb one bas been accostomedy and to the mannera to 
wbicb all one^s relishes have been formed. You see bow 
fall of reflection I bare become. I do^ indeed, feel a cw« 
tain change within me, and look npon the world and my 
ooncern with it in a very new lighl^ within these last six 
months. Yon need not trouble yourself, however, to sym- 
pathize very painfally with my anxieties. I am, on the 
whole, extremely happy, and live in a state of hope that 
is nearly as good as a state of enjoyment, fcc. 

Bob Morehead bas been in Scotland all this summer, but 
returns, for the last time, to Oxford, soon after Christmas. 
He still keeps terms in the Temple, but neither reads nor 
thinks of law. I do not imagine that he will take the 
trouble to pass, and am sure he will never practise. He 
bas been very poetical of late, and really has a talent and 
a taste tbat way that might bring him into notice ; but he 
is as indolent as either you or me, and wants confidence 
more than either. He will not starve, however, though he 
should be idle. He has rather a turn for marriage, and is 
in the mean time one of the happiest persons I know, &c. 

Your United States, I am afraid, will not deserve that 
title long; and that wonderful America, which all the dis- 
contented patriots of Europe have been holding out to our 
envy and admiration, will fall a victim, I think, to the con- 
stitutional malady of republics. What with your yellow 
fever and your party violence, I cannot think your situa- 
tion very enviable. Jefferson, however, I take to be a 
very able man, and I imagine the best thing that could 
happen to you would be his election. The true way to 
abate political violence is to give it power. It is opposir 
tion and disappointment that exasperates to all dangerous 
excesses ; and (except in the single case of a popular revo- 
lution, and a mob that is not under the control of any 
leaders) the most outrageous patriot will generally become 


practicable and moderate when he is hjmself intrusted 
with the government of the country; I beg yoa to write 
to me very soon. — ^Believe me, my dear John, most affec- 
tionately yours. 

26. — To Mr. John Jeffrey. 
^ Edinborgli, 8d Jftnuary, 1801. 

My dear John-^It is only two or three days since I re- 
ceived your letter of the 15th November. I am quite de- 
lighted to find that yon are not dead, and that there is 
still a possibility of our meeting again in this world. Your, 
congratulations upon Mainie's marriage appear to me as 
much out of date, as my wishing you a good new-year 
would do when you receive this letter. It is an event now 
of obscure antiquity with us, and no more thought of than 
the day of their death. One part of your letter, however, is 
still in good season — that, I mean, which relates to the dul- 
ness and stupidity of our house since that separation, &c. 

I feel this the more, because when I am from home I 
live in a very good society, and find the contrast the 
greater. I make but little progress — I believe I may say 
none at all^ — at the bar ; but my reputation, I think, is in- 
creasing, and may produce something in time, &c. . 

. . To have gone put to practise law in India, would 
have suited my inclination and my talents, I believe, ex- 
tremely well ; but the courts there are only open to those 
who have been called to the bar in England ; and it would 
take me four or five years' study, or attendance at least, to 
obtain that qualification. There is the same objection to 
my exchanging the Scotch bar for the English. I have 
every reason to believe that I should be much more suc- 
cessful at the latter ; but it is now too late, I am afraid,' 
to think of it. I have talked occasionally with some West 
India and Demerara men, who give me a tempting idea of 
the facility with which money may be made in trade in 
these countries. I know nothing about trade, to be sure, 


(ot they say that is of bo eonaeqaenoei and that a elever 
man cannot fail of success. I rather coaecive myself^ that 
all the craft of a merchant might be learned in the course 
of a year, so as to enable a man to bring all the mind he 
had to bear in that direction. I have thought too, of en- 
gaging myself in the study of Oriental literature, and 
making myself considerable in that way, and of fifty dif- 
ferent schemes of literary eminence at home* 

Within this little while, however, I will confess to you, 
these ambitious fanpies have lost a good deal of their 
power over my imagination ; and I have accustomed my- 
self to the contemplation of atn humbler and more serene 
sort of felicity. To tell you all in two words, I have « 
serious purposes of marriage, which I should be f(»rced, 
you see, to abandon, if I were to adopt almest any of the 
plans I have hinted at. The poor girl, however, has no 
more fortune than me ; and it would be madness nearly to 
exchange our empty hands under the present aspect of the 
constellations. We have agreed to wait for a year at 
least, to see how things may turn out ; and in the mean 
time I am to be industrious and aspiring in my profession, 
and she is to study economy and sober-mindedness at 
home. What do you say to that, my dear John 7 &c* 

Farewell, my dear John, let me hear from you very soon, 
and always believe me most affectionately yours* 

26.— To Thomas CampheUy Esq. 

Glasgow, i7th Mareh, 1801. 

Dear Campbell — When I say that I am tempted to write 
you Jby this opportunity of Richardson's emigration, I am 
sensible that I give a reason for it that would have served 
better as an apology for my silcAoe. He can tell yo^ now 
in person all that I might otherwise have interested you by 
writing ; and will probably bring you despatches from all 
the friends of whom you might at another time have been 
glad to have heard more indirectly from me. At the same 


time^ the idea of his meeting with jou so soon has brought 
yoQ and your adventures^ more impressively to my mind; 
and there seems to be less presumption in the address of 
an uninvited correspondent, when he makes use of the in- 
troduction of a friend* These lines, I think, will be less 
unwelcome to you, when they are presented by Richard- 
son's hand, than if they had been delivered to you at the 

I have no news for you, and am not much disposed to 
trouble you with egotisms or dissertations. When I have 
said that I take a constant interest in your fame and your 
happiness, and that I am one of those who do not think 
that esteem is much impaired either by distance or silence, 
I have said almost all I have to say, and should finish my 
letter if I were much afraid of the bad consequences of 
repetition. As I dp not trouble you often, however, I 
shall venture to talk on,, as if I were assured of your in- 
dulgence, and not quite removed from your familiarity* 
In the first place, I must tell: you that I have been envying 
you all this winter, and that I am afraid the same malig- 
nant feeling will be associated with the remembrance of 
you during the whole summer. I have heard something 
of your sickness^ fatigues, and perplexities, but all that 
makes no difference in my opinion. The review even of 
these things is pleasant, ^hey are the deep shades of an 
animated picture, and make a most brilliant contrast with 
the stupid and tame uniformity of the life that is lived 
about me, &;c. 

I hear something and see something now ai^d then^ that 
satisfies me you are not idle, but I liave no distinct know- 
ledge of what you have done or projected. I cannot promise 
you either assistance or return, but should be flattered with 
the confidence that some authentic intelligence upon these 
subjects would show you could place in me* 

Richardson has promised to write to me now and then iii 
the course of your pilgrin^age. May I not expect to see a 

Vol. II.-~6 * D 


postscript from jou now and then, or a whole letter wben 
he makes you his penman for the occasion ? 

I wish JOU a pleasant and safe jonmey, and have no 
doubt^ indeed, that your expedition will be both instructive 
and delightfuL You will be quite naturalized in Germany 
by the time it is finished ; but you run no risk of being 
alienated here. By what I can judge and feel, I think 
you woi^d be. in no danger of being forgotten, either by 
yotir friends or the public, though you should be absent 
and silent for a much longer time than you speak of. Poor 
Miss Graham, you will have heard, is gone at last. Her 
sister has just had another child, and is quite well again. 
Her brother^ I suppose, will write to you by this oppor- 
tunity. I should be extremely grati^ed if this should 
prove the beginning of a correspondence in which I can 
engage for nothing but regularity ; but I make no pro- 
posals, and indulge no expectations. You will allow me 
always to admire your abilities, and to r^oice in your 
happiness and reputation; and believe that I am, dear 
Campbell, very sincerely yours. 

2T.— 2fe Qeorge J. Bellj JEsq. 

St Andrews, 19th April, 1801. 

Dear Bell — I called for you the night before J left 
Edinburgh, and you called for me; yet I should not have 
believed that our meeting was prevented hj bjij expresi 
fatalitjfy if the same thing had not happened a few evenings 
before, and if I had not gone four times to my room since 
I came here with the determination of writing you, &c. 

It is as well to tell you in the beginning that I have 
nothing to tell you, and that you need not waste your 
patience in reading this letter, if you have as many serious 
uses for it as you used to have. I am very h^PPy here, 
and very idle. You are very happy, Ihope^ too; but I 
am afraid you are very busy. It msJ^es me a little 
ashamed of my own idleness, and I daresay makes you 


despise it. That is nnchristian, however, and perhaps not 
very wise ; for you labour only in order to be idle, and if 
I can reap without sowing, I consider it a great gain. 
You will say that I neglect the seed-tin)e ; but if I have 
reasonable doubts both of th^ climate and of the soil, 
do I not rather avoid an unprofitable waste? In the 
mean time I am not so hlameahly happy as I was the last 
time I was here. Tou acquitted me then rather more 
easily than I could prevail on my conscience to do. At 
present I defy you both, and look fierce and erect upon 

It is fine airy weather, with calm evenings, a^d buds 
and flowers in abundance. We cannot boast of our groves 
indeed ; but we have rocks «nd level roads at their feet, 
and yellow sunshine upon sails, and girls upon the links, 
and skate, cod, and mussels in great profusion. Will not 
this tempt you for a week from your bankrupts ? There 
is a great lack of men, and you will be of more consequence 
here than the Lord Justice Clerk at any of his circuit 
dinners. They talk of balls next week too, and they have 
concerts already, and there are some learned men, and a 
good assortment of quizzes, and not one being to put you 
in mind of the Parliament House, except Walter Cook,* 
and the black robes of the professors. James Reddie and 
you gave each half a promise to come and see the beauties 
while I was here to point them out to you. That is a 
whole promise between you, so that one of you must come 
at any rate* I want to know what you are doing, and how 
Edinburgh subsisteth in my absence. 

You are one of the people that put me out of humour 
with myself, and make me think ill of my industry, and 
my fitness to live. Yet I do not hate you. There is still 
some hope of my redemption ; and I am always, dear Bell, 
most sincerely yours. 

* A very respectable Writer to the Signet, and through life a friend 
of Jeffrey's. 


28— Tb Mr. John Jeffrey. 

St. AndreiTB, 1st August, 1801, 

My dear John, — ^If you have got any of my last letters 
you will not be surprised to see me here. I am not going 
to be married yet, however, and shall write you another 
letter or two from Edinburgh, I am afraid*, before I have 
that news to communicate. Before the pionth of Novem- 
ber, however, I hope to have renounced all the iniquities 
and unhappinesses of a bachelor, and to be deeply skilled 
in all the comforts of matrimony before the end of the year. 
I enter upon the new Kfe with a great deal of faith, love^ 
and fortitude ; and not without a reasonable proportion of 
apprehension and anxiety. I never feared any thing for 
myself, and the excessive carelessness with which I used to 
look forward when my way was lonely has increased, I 
believe, this solicitude for my companion. I am not very 
much afraid of our quarrelling or wearying of each other, 
but I am not sure how we shall bear poverty ; and I am 
sensible we shall be very poor. I do not make a £100 a 
year, I have told you,, by my profession. You would not 
marry in this situation ? and neither would I if I saw any 
likelihood of its growing better before I was too old to 
marry at all ; or did not feel the desolation of being in 
solitude as something worse than any of the inconveniences 
of poverty. Besides, we trust to Providence, and have 
hopes of dying before we get into prison, &c. 

I wrote my uncle by the packet in June, and communi- 
cated to him in a dutiful manner, the change I propose to 
make in my condition. My father says he will probably 
do something for me on this occasion ; but I do not allow 
myself to entertain any very sanguine expectation. He 
knows very little about me, and I can easily understand 
that it may be inconvenient to make any advance at pre- 
sent, .which I have no right to receive. I shall certainly 
never submit to ask, and endeavour to persuade myself that 


I am above hoping or wishing very anziouslj. Catherine 
has her love to you. She says I flirt so extravagantly with 
her sisters, that she is determined to make me jealous of 
you, if you give her any encouragement.. She is a very 
good girl, but nothing prodigious, and quite enough given 
to flirtation without anv assistance from you. 

Farewell, then, my good citizen. I hope we shall see 
you soon, and see you as we used to do, with all your 
strength and beauty about you. As you are now the only 
unmarried animal in the genealogy, we propose to treat 
you with great scorn and indignity as soon as you arrive 
among us ; to put you into a narrow bed, and place you at 
the lower end of the table, never to wait dinner for you, 
. and to feed you with cold meat and sour wine. Moreover, 
we mean to lay grievous taxes on you, and make you stand 
godfather to all our children. If you give any symptoms 
of reformation, we may probably relent. If you want a 
wife, (or know anybody who wants one,) you must come to 
this ancient city. There are more beauties than you ever 
saw anywhere else, among the same number of women ; and 
not more than five or six men to prevent you from choos- 
ing among th,em. 

I bathe, and walk, and sleep, and dream away my time» 
in the most voluptuous manner ; but must recuse myself in. 
a weejk or two, and go to- provide a mansion for myself, be- 
fore the. wintry days come back on us again. 

Remember me very afiectionately to my uncle. Take 
care of yourself, and believe me always most afiectionately 

29.— To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 2d October, 1801. 
My dear John — 

I have told you I am to be married in a month ; but the 
latter days of my courtship have been dismally overclouded. 



Poor Dr. WUson* died in the beginning of September, and 
bis family are still in very great affliction* I was fortu- 
nately with them at the time, for the scene was really very 
distressing, and a great deal too much for yonng gay girl», 
quite new to affliction, and accustomed to indulge every 
emotion without any idea of control. Before I arrived, 
they had been for two days constantly in the sick-room, 
and would aU of them sit up every night till they were car- 
ried away in a state of insensibility. It is in these ordinary 
and vulgar calamities of private life, I think, that the most 
exquisite misery is endured. Campaigns and revolutions 
are nothing to them* T?ieir horrors are covered up, even 
from the eyes of the sufferer, with smoke and glory ; and the 
greatness of the events help to disguise their wretchedness. 
They are all quite well again ; and as it was her father's 
particular request that his death should not put off our mar- 
riage beyond the time that had been originally fixed for it, 
Catherine has readily agreed that it should take place in 
the beginning of November. I have taken a house in Buc- 
cleugh Place for the winter, and mean to set a great ex- 
ample of economy and industry. I have still some fears, 
however, of dying the death of other great geniuses — ^by 
hunger. Catherine is not any richer by her father's death. 
— My dear John, I am always most affectionately yours. 

SO.—To Mobert MareheacL 

St Andrews^ 7th October, 1801. 
My dear Bob — I got your letter yesterday, which was 
very entertaining ; though I could have wished that yoir 
had not just kept up the folly to the last,. but reformed, 
and been rational for a few minutes before you bade us 
farewelL My dear fellow, do you not rejoice at this peace ? 
It is the only public event in my recollection that has given 
me any lively sensation of pleasure, and I have rejoiced at 

^ His intended father-in-law. 


it as hftartilj bs it ia possible for a private man, and oo« 
whose oim condition is not immediately affected by it, to 
do. How many parents and children, and sisters and bro^ 
tbers, wonld that news make happy ! How many pairs of 
bright eyes would weep oyer that gazette, and wet its brown 
pages with tears of gratitude and raptnre I How many 
weary wretches will it deliyer from camps and hospitals, 
and restore once more to the comforts of a peaceful and 
industrious life I What i^e victories to rejoice at, com^ 
pared with an event like this? Your bonfires and illumi- 
nations are dimmed with bbod and with tears, and battle 
is in itself a great evil, and a subject of general grief and 
lamentation* The victors are only the least unfortunate, 
and suffering and death have in general brought us no 
nearer to tranquillity and happiness. I have really been 
exte'emely interested on this occasion, and for four-and** 
twenty hours thought more, I really believe, of the country 
than of myiBelf. Catherine is very well, however, and I 
had no cause of any great anxiety or disturbance on my 
own account. In such a situation a man finds it easy to 
be philanthropical, and worships the general good without 
the expense of sacrifice. — Believe me, dear Bob, most af- 
fectionately yours. 

Bl^r^To Bobert MoreheacL 

Bdinbiirgh, 24th May, 1802. 

My dear Bob — ^Worse and worse, you see, in the way of 
regularity. This marriage, you think, will interfere with 
our correspondence ; but I cannot think that yet, and would 
rather have yo« lay the blame upon circuits and sessions, 
and above all, upon new houses and furniture for rooms. 
We came here, to Queen Street I mean, about ten days 
ago, and have ev^ since been in such an uproar with paint- 
ers, and chimney-sweeps, and packages of old books, and 
broken china, that I have scarcely had time to eat my din- 
ner, or to find out where my pens and paper were laid till 


yesterday. Then, you know, this is the beginning of our 
session ; and, moreoyer, it is the time of the General As- 
sembly of the Scotch National Church ; (you apostate dog ! 
where will you find any thing so high sounding as that in 
your new religion ?) And we have parsons and elders by 
the dozen, with their families, from St. Andrews, to enter- 
tain ; and I have a cause to plead in the said venerable 
Assembly, and am to declaim, in the name of a Presbytery, 
against a poor sinner whom ikej have accused of profane 
swearing, and a habit of scoffing at religion, and great 
levity of behaviour ; but I declare to you that I will plead 
it fairly. 

But you are as great a delinquent as I am nearly, — ^not 
only to me, (for I deserve nothing,) but to all your other 
friends, as I understand, and you cannot have half my 
apologies. I hope you are quite well, however, and can 
only suppose that you are busy making your en tr^ into the 
Church. Are you reverend yet, or not ? or is there any 
chance of yo;ur being rejected, or of your changing your 
mind and drawing hsLck ? I do not much like the threat 
in your last, about not coming to Scotland for this summer, 
and hope the election will force you for a while among us 
whether you will or not. If you do not get a curacy im- ^ 
mediately, I do not see what you can debate; for I am 
afraid, after you are once beneficed, you will practise the 
virtue of residence in a very exemplary manner ; and that 
we shall see each other no oftener than you visit your me- 
tropolitan. There is something dolorous in the breaking 
up of long intimacies, and the permanent separation of 
those who have spent so much of their life together. We have 
spent too much of it together though, I am persuaded, ever 
to fall off from an intimacy, and shall speak to each other 
with familiarity, although we should not meet for twenty 
years to come. I can answer for myself at least, in spite 
of all the change that marriage is to make upon me. What 
the Church may work on you, I cannot so positively de- 


termine. I met with ail old sonnet of yours this morning, 
on the first fall of snow in Deeember, 1794, which brought 
back to my mind many very pleasing recollections. In- 
deed, there is no part of my life that I look back upon with 
so mnch delight as the summer days we loitered at Her- 
bertshire, in the first year of onr acquaintance. I date the 
beginning of it from the time of your father's death, and 
often call to mind the serene and innocent seclusion in 
which we then lived from the world. I should be sorry if 
I could not live so again, and am sure that I could be as 
pure, and as careless, and as romantic, if I bad only as 
much leisure, and as pliant a oompanion. 

I haye nothing new to tell you of. Our Review has 
been pos^oned till September, and I am afraid will not go 
on with much spirit even then. Perhaps we have omitted 
the tide that was in our favour. We are bound for a year 
to the booksellers, and shall drag through that, I suppose, 
for our own indemnification ; but I foresee the likelihood 
of our being all scattered before another year shall be over, 
and, of course, the impossibility of going on on the footing 
upon which we have begun. Indeed, few things have given 
me more vexation of late than the prospect of the dissolu* 
tion of that very pleasant and animated society in which I 
have spent so much of my time for these last four years, 
and I am reaUy inclined to be very sad whefi I look for- 
ward to the time when I shall be deserted by all the friends 
and companions who possessed much of my confidence and 
esteem. You are translated into England already. Hor- 
ner goes to the English bar in a year. S. Smith leaves 
this country for ever about the same time. Hamilton 
spends his life abroad as soon as his father's death sets him 
at liberty. Brougham will most probably push into public 
life, even before a similar event gives him a favourable 
opportunity. Reddie is lost, and absolutely swallowed up 
in law. Lord Webb leaves us before winter. Jo. Allen 
goes abroad with Lord Holland immediately. Adam is 


gone already, and, except Brown and Jo. Murray, I do not 
think that one of the associates with whom I ha¥e japeco- 
lated and amused myself, will be left with me in the cqarse 
of eighteen months. It is not easy to form new intimacies, 
and I know enough of the people among whom I most look 
for th^m, to be positive that they will never be worthy of 
their predecessors. Comfort me, then, my dear Bobby, in 
this real taction, and prove to me, by yonr example, that 
separation is not always followed by foigetfulness, and that 
we may still improve and gladden each other at a distance. 
My Kitty is quite well, and very rational and amiable. If 
it were not for her I should run after my friends, and in- 
dulge my inherent spirit of adventure by a new course of 
exertion. But she i» my brother and sister, my father and 
mother, my Sanscrit, my Sydney, and my right venerable 
cousin, as old Homer says in Andromache. 

I dined at Murrayfield the other day. Write me very 
soon and tell me what you are doing luod meditating, and 
especially when I am to see you again, and how. It is the 
sweetest weather ^ the world, and all are in ecstasy with, 
our prospect, and our evening walks. B>emember our num- 
ber is 62. I see no new books of any consequence, and 
am sadly behind with my task for the Beview. I have been, 
more impeded by the law than I had reckoned upon. Oath. 
sends her Ipve to you, and hopes you will bring her a pair 
of gloves when you come down. She is going to Herbert- 
shire, she says, some time this autumn. Believe me always, 
my dear Bob, yours most affectionately. 

82.— 2^0 Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, Ist Atiga0(!» 1802. 
My dear John — I am sorry to fall back into the old 
style ; but it is necessary to tell you that your letter of 
the 11th May is still the latest we have received from 
you, &c. 

We are all here in our usual way. How often shall I 


repeat that apology for all intelligeBce? and how infallibly 
does it come to be less true, upon every repetition! The 
little changes^ which do not seem to impair its inaccuracy 
accumulate so fast in a few years of absence, that our umal 
way comes to be something very different from our old one. 
Marriage itself implies a great number of little changes ^ 
and it is probable you may think me a good deal altered, 
while I am unconscious of any other alteration, &o. 

It ha» been a cold wet summer with us, and we predict 
another scarcity. Speculate upon that, Mr. Merchant, 
and come oyer with your cargo. I am going to write a 
book upon law next year — though, upon toy honour, I do 
not know upon what subject. Everybody exhorts me to 
do it, and I am too polite to resist the entreaties of my 
friends, and too modest to set my own conviction^ of my 
inability against their unanimous opinion. I must have 
more money, that is the truth of it, and this will be an 
experiment to catch some. — ^Believe me always, dear John, 
most affectionately yours. 

83.— 2% B4>heTt Morehead. 

Eclinbiirgli, 25th Ootober, 1802. 

My, dear Bob«-^You may imagine with what anguish I 
rit down to tell you that our sweet little boy died thia 
morning- about five o'clock. He was seized in the evening 
with a sort of convulsion and fainting fits, and expired at 
the time I have mentioned. 

• Mrs. J. is better than I could have expected, considering 
the weak state of her health, the suddenness of this cala- 
mity, and the affection with which she doted on the baby 
that had cost her so dearly. 

We are still diatracted with a thousand agonizing recol- 
lectionSj^^but I hope by and by to be more composed. — 
Believe me always, dear Bob, most affectionately yours. 


34. — To Francis Horner^ Esq. 

Edinburgh, let April, 1808. 

My dear Horner — I daresay the sight of my handwriting 
is as terrible to you as that on the wall was to Belshazzar; 
and it is just as well to tell you in the beginning that I do 
write principally for the purpose of dunning you. I have 
some right to dun too ; not merely because I am the master, 
to whom your service is due, but because I have myself 
sent fifty pages to the press before I ask you for one. 
Hear now our state, and consider: — Brown has been dying 
with influenza^ and is forbidden to write for his chest's 
sake. ^ De Puis^ is dying with asthma, and is forbidden to 
write for his life's sake. Brougham is roaming the streets 
with the sons of Belial, or correcting his colonial proofs, 
and trusting every thing to the exertions of the last week, 
and the contributions of the unfledged goslings who gabble 
under his wings. Elmsley — even the sage and staid Elms- 
ley — has solicited to be set free from his engagements. 
And Timothyt refuses to come under any engagements 
with the greatest candour and good nature in the world. 
Now, if you two fail utterly, I shall be tempted to despair 
of the republic. I would not iave you comfort your indo- 
lence, however, with this despair. If you will send us 
thirty pages between ycfu, I, shall undertake for its salva- 
tion, at least for this campaign. And even if you do not, 
I am afraid we shall not die nobly, but live pitifully, which 
will be much wotse. Trash will be collected, and I shall 

have the pleasure of marching in the van of Mr. , 

and Mr. , and Dr. — — ', and Mr. , and I do not 

know who, that are ready to take your places beside me. 
Now, Aiy good Horner, let me conjure you "by the con- 
sonancy of our studies," and all other serious considera- 
tions, to deliver me from this evil; and refuse one dinner, 
or shorten two nights' sleep, or encounter some other petty 

* A niokname for Dr. John Thomson. f Mr. Thomas Thomson. 


evil, to save us from this perplexity. You have many fair 
days before you to shine and sport in, and may be glad 
some time to remember the exertions I ask of you, ko. 

I hear of your talking about dung,''' and of your making 
a great deal of money^ Good. I wish you would let me 
into the secret. Remember me to Murray, whom I miss 
very much, and to Brougham. This place is in a state of 
terrible depopulation, quoad me at least. Do you hear 
any thing of Hamilton ? I daresay these alarms will send 
him home, or at least the Sanscrit books, which are still . 
more precious to him than his own person. 

God bless you, Horner. When I am out of humour with 
my own lot, I generally wish to be yout Do not forget 
me, however ; and we shall continue very good friends and 
rivals no doubt, though you have the vantage ground. — I 
am, always very faithfully yours. 

P. S. — The mg arrived in great order, and .1 am re- 
solved to mount it boldly next session. 

85. — To Francis Horner^ 

. Edinburgh, llth May, 1808. 

My dear Horner — ^You will think it but an ill omen of 
our correspondence that I have left your first letter so long 
unanswered, but it came when I was doubly from home, 
for I was not in Glasgow when it arrived, and I have been 
in a constant state of hurry and agitation ever since I re- 
ceived it. I had reviews to write, and felons to defend, 
visits to pay, and journeys to perform, directions to give, 
and quarrels to make up — and all this without one interval 
of domestic tranquillity, but under strange roofs, where 
paper and pens were often as hard to be met with as leisure 
and solitude were always. I only came home last night, 
and as the session begins to-morrow, I think I do your 
epistle great honour in taking notice of it so soon. By 

* In aa appeal in the House of Lords. 
Vol. n.— 6 


this .time I suppose the third number of the Review will 
haye reached you, and I begin ahready to feel some im- 
patienoe for jour own opinion of its merits, and your ao« 
count of its reception in London. If you are disposed to 
be yery severe, I shall probably remind you that it is your 
own fault that it is no better, and that you are more re* 
sponsible for our blunders than those substitutes of yours 
1>y whom they were committed. Bo not imagine, however, 
that I was not very much moved with your contrition and 
conscientious qualms. I would grant ^ou a fuller remis- 
sion, if I were not afraid iSiat the easiness of your penance 
might tempt you to a second transgrescaon. To Say the 
truth, I had not much expectation from the very eloquent 
and urgent expostulatipn I addressed to you, and had 
made up my mind to go on without you before it wasHsent 
away. This time, however, we really depend upon you ; 
and, after your engagements and bkushes, I shall be obliged 
to suspect that you are not to be depended upon at all if 
you disappoint us. That you may have an opportunity of 
exercising your sagacity, I shall let you guess at the au- 
thors of the different articles before I disclose them ; and 
that you may give the London opinion without bias or pre- 
ppsses*sion, I shall not tell you till I hear it, what that is 
which preponderates in Edinburgh. There is much judg- 
ment, I beg leave to assure you, in this specimen of reti- 
cencBy whatever you may tbink of its eloquence. 

There is one thin^, however, that I will tell you. In 
consequence of a negotiation conducted by Smith during 
my ab&ence, Constable and Longman have agreed to give 
£50 a number to the editor, an^l to pay <£10 a sheet for 
all the contributions which the said editor shall think worth 
the money. The terms are, as Mr. Longman says, << with- 
out precedent f" but the success of the work is not less so, 
and I am persuaded that if the money be well applied^ it 
will be no difficult matter to insure its continuance. Now, 
my sage councillor, this editorship will be offered to 'me in 


the ccnine of a few days, and though I shall not giye any 
definite answer till I hear from yon, and consnlt with some 
of my other friends, I will confess that I am disposed to 
accept of it. There are jtto^ and cant in the case, no 
doubt* What the j>ro$ are I need not tell you. £300 a 
year is a monstroue bribe to a man in my shnation. The 
e<m$ are — vexatiop and trouble, interference with profes- 
sional employment and character, and risk of general 
degradation. The first I have had some little experience 
o{^ and am not afraid for. The second, upon a fair con-^ 
sideration, I. am persuaded I ought to risk. It will be long 
before I make £300 more than I now do by my profession, 
and by far the greater part of the employment I have will 
remain with me, I know, in spite of any thing of this sort. 
The character and success of the work, and the liberality 
of the allowance, .are not to be disregarded^ But what in- 
fluences me the most is, that I engaged in it at first gra- 
tuitously, along with a set of men whose character and 
situation in life must command the respect of the multitude, 
and that I hope to go on with it as a matter of emolument 
along with the same associates. All the men here will 
take their ten guineas, I find, and, under the sanction of 
that example, I think I may take my editor's salary also 
without being supposed to have suffered any degradation. 
It would be easy to say a great deal on this subject, but 
the sum of it^ I believe, is here, and you will understand 
me as well as if I had been more eloquent. I would un- 
doubtedly prefer making the same sum by my profession ; 
but I really want the money, and think that I may take 
it this way, without compromising either my honour or 
my future interest. Tell me fairly what you think of it 
Murray thinks a little too much like a man at his ease. I 
should probaJl)ly think like him if I were in Im situation ; 
but my poverty is greater than either of you imagine, and 
my proapeote a great deal more uncertain than your paiw 
tiality will believe. I have weighed this deliberately. 


Whatever you think of this matter, there is one service 
jou can do us^ I daresay. Inquire and look ahout among 
the literary men and professed writers of the metropolis^ 
and send us down a list of a few that you think worth ten 
guineas a sheet, and that will work conscientiously for the 
money. Take what meajsures you can also, to let it be 
generally known among that race of beings, that for su- 
perior articles we give such a. price. A classical man of 
taste in particular is much wanted, fit for a r^yiewer of 
Gidbrd's Journal for instance, and such things. When 
these weighty matters are settled, I shall write you a let- 
ter of anecdotes more at my ease. Let me hear from you 
very soon ; and believe me always, my dear Horner, v^ry 
faithfully yours. 

P. S. — Tell me what books you are to do for No. 4, 
and what you think ought to be done ; and begin to your 
task, let me entreat you, in good time. You shall have 
twelve guineas if you please. 

P. S. — Thomson hesitates about Pumont. Say posi- 
tively whether you will do it yourself or not. 

ZQ.—To Mr. John Jeffrey. . 

Edinburgh, 2d July, 1808. 

My dear John — It will be a sad thing if your reforma- 
tion be the cause of my falling off; yet it is certain that 
since you have begun to write oftener, my letters have 
begun to be more irregular^ &o. 

I am gkd you have got our Review, and that you liko 
it. Your partiality to my articles is a singular proof of 
yqur judgment. In No. 3, 1 do Gentz, Hayley's Cowper, 
Sir J. Sinclair, and Thelwall. In No. 4, which is now 
printing, I have Miss Baillie's Plays, Comparative View 
of Geology, Lady Mary Wortley, and some little ones. I 
do not think you know any of my associates* There is 
the sage Homer, however, whom you have seen, and who 
has gone to the English bar with the resolution of being 


Lord Chancellor ; Brougham, a great mathematician, who 
has just published a book upon the Colonial Policy of 
Europe, which all you Americans should read ; Bev. Sid- 
ney Smith, and P. Elmsley, two learned Oxonian priests, 
full of jokes and erudition ; my excellent little Sanscrit 
Hamilton, who is also in the hands of Bonaparte at Fon- 
tainebleau ; Thomas Thomson and John Murray, two in- 
genious advocates ; and some dozen of occasional contri- 
butors, among whom, the most illustrious, I think, are 
young Watt of. Birmingham, and Davy of the Royal In- 
stitution^ We sell 2500 copies already, and hope to do 
double that in six months, if wer are puffed enough. X 
wish you could try if you can ripandre us upon your con- 
tiijient, and use what interest you can with the literati, or 
rather with the booksellers of New York and Philadelphia* 
I believe I have not told you that the concern has now 
become to be of some emolument. Aft^r the fourth num- 
ber the publishers are to pay the writers no less than ten 
guineas a sheet, which is three times what was jBver paid 
before for such a work, and to allow £50 a number to an 
editor. I shall have the offer of that first, I. believe, and 
I think I shall take it, with the full power of laying it 
down whenever I think proper. The publication is in the 
highest degree, respectable as yet, as there are none but 
gentlemen connected with it. If it ever sink into the 
sjtate of an ordinary bookseller's journal, I have done 
with it. 

We are all in great horror about the w^t here, though 
not half so much afraid as, we ought to be. Por my part, 
I am often in absolute despair, and wish I were fairly 
piked, and done with it. It is most clearly and unequivo- 
cally a war of our own seeking, and an offensive war upon 
our part, though we have no means of offending. The 
consular proceedings are certainly very outrageous and 
provoking, and, if we had power to humble him, I rather 
think we have had provocation enough to do it. But with 

6* B 


our means^ and in the present state and temper of. Europe, 
I own it appears to me like insanity. There is but one 
ground upon which our conduct can be justified. If we 
are perfectly certain that France is to go to war with us, 
and will infallibly take some opportunity to do it with 
greater advantage in a year or two, there may be some 
prudence in being beforehand with her, and open the un- 
equal contest in our own way. While men are mortal, 
and the fortunes of nations variable, however, it seems 
ridiculom^ to talk of absolute certainty for the future ; and 
we insure a present evil, with the magnitude of which we 
are only beginning to be acquainted.^ In the mean time 
we must all turn out, I fancy, and do our best. There is 
a corps of riflemen raising, in which I shall probably have 
a company. I hate the business of war, and .despise the 
parade of it ; but we must submit to both for a while. I 
am happy to observe that there is little of that boyish 
prating about uniform^, and strutting in helmets, that 
distinguished our former arming. We look sulky now, 
and manful, I think, &;c. — ^Always, dear John, very affec-^ 
tionately yours. 

37.— To Qeorge J. Bell, Edq. 

St. An&ews, 7th Angost, 1803. 

My dear Bell — I wish you were here to learn how to 
be idle, or to teach me how to be busy. We are in the 
middle of eating and drinking, and are so much engrossed 
with it, that, with the most virtuous disposition in the 
world, I have barely been able to write a few' lines to my 
father (at three sittings) and to read a half of the Tale of 
a Tub, &;c. 

In spite of all this,. and in spite of the rainy weather, 
which has annoyed us ever since we set foot upon this 
kingdom, we are all in good health. Kate, I think, really 
stouter, and more uniformly alert than she has been for a 
very long time. This she desires you to tell Charles, for 


whose GonTersation she has a much higher esteem than for 
his bottles. 

For my own part, I am perfectly well, and succeed very 
tolerably i^ my endeavours to forget that I have reviews 
to write, and Frenchmen to conquer, in the course of a 
few weeks. The last evil, indeed, seems to enter but lit- 
tle into the imagination of anybody I meet with. It is a 
fashion here to kugh at the notion of an invasion, and I 
am ridiculed as a visionary for hinting something as to its 
possibility. They are so much in earnest in this notion, 
however, that there is not a volunteer or a musket from 
the Tay to the Forth; and a corporal's guard, I verily be- 
lieve, might march triumphantly from one end of the 
country to the other. A privateer, with thirty men, I am 
quite certain, might land here and carry off all the cattle 
and women without the smallest danger. I am not quite 
so well assured, however, by all this confidence, but that 
I have some anxiety to know what you are doing in Edin- 
burgh as to your armaments and preparations. What has 
become of our corps? and have you entered into any 
other ? Have any steps been taken as to the formation 
of the army of reserve ? or any thing been done about the 
general levy? We hear nothing in this corner any more 
than if we were at St. Kilda. There is but one Scotch 
newspaper comes to the whole town, and they read it so 
slow, that its contents are not generally known till four 
days after its arrival. Tell mo too what you hear of our 
Review. !Hie College takes one copy of it too, but they 
do not commolaly cut up the learned articles, and content 
themselves with our politics and poetry, &c. 

Farewell, dear Bell ; I hope you never suspect me of 
forgetting aU that I have long owed to your unwearied 
and disinterested friendship. You think, I can perceive, 
that I am apt to be led away by idle and profligate asso- 
ciates ; but, if I do not overrate my own steadiness, I am 
in no great danger from that kind of seduction. I will go 


a certain length, out of curiosity and by way of experi- 
ment, but I hope I can stop where I have determined to 
8top, and am sure that I recur always with more satisfac- 
tion to the tried and substantial merits of my oldest 
friends. This sentence must be inspired, I suppose ; at 
least, I do not know how else it got in. 

Write me very soon, my dear Bell, and believe me 
always very faithfully yours* 

38. — To Francis Homers Esq. 

St Andrews, 8th August, 1803. 

My dear Horner— From this place of leisure, you will 
expect a long, collected letter ; but my wits are so besotted 
with the epidemic eating and drinking of the place, and 
my hand so disused to writing, that I feel as if it were 
impossible for me to get over the leaf with you. 

I came here a week ago with the resolution to study 
very hard ; and yet, in spite of many vigorous and reite- 
rated endeavours, I have been able to do nothing but read 
the Tale of a Tub, and answer six cards of invitation. 
My conscientious qualms, too, are daily becomings less im- 
portunate, and unless you will flap me up to something 
like exertion, I think it is very likely that in another week 
I flhall have forgotten that I have reviews to write, and 
Frenchmen to slaughter. It is impossible, indeed, to be 
in a situation more favourable for that last act of oblivion. 
There is not an armed man in the whole county ; and a 
single privateer might carry off all the fat cattle and fair 
women in the district. To me, who make it a point of 
conscience to believe in an invasion j this negligence is per- 
fectly shocking. Our Review came out, though, after^ a 
very hard labour, on th,e regular day ; and is by this time, 
I have no doubt, in your hands. It is my business to re- 
ceive opinion^, you know, and not to offer any. I am 
much afraid, however, that your «Lord King*' is the best 


article in the xiamber; and yon will think some of the 
most laborious yerj bad. I am impatient to hear what 
you think, and also what you hear. K we begin to sink 
in general estimation at this crisis, we shall speedily go 
to the bottom, &;c. 

I am quite inconsolable at the dep^^rtnre of the Smiths. 
They leave Edinburgh, I belieye, this day,, and they leave 
nobody in it whom I could not have spared more easily. 
There has been a sad breaking up of the society in which we 
used to live so pleasantly ; Hamilton, Allen, and Homer, and 
now the Smiths. I hope we shall meet somewhere ag^n, 
though I despair of seeing those careless and cordial hours 
that we have formerly spent together. In heaven, it will 
be quite another sort of thing, I am told. However, let 
us write to each other, and keep away the approaches of 
strangeness as long as possible. Brougham talks of emi- 
grating also ; and then I shall have nobody but Murray,, 
whom I admire and esteem more every day. I see nobody 
who has such good manners and good dispositions, &c. 

Let me know, my dear Homer, how you proceed ; and 
how soon you will be able to patronize me. . As soon as 
you are chancellor, I am resolved to cringe to you for a 
place. Tell me something about your society, and give 
me some more of those sage advices as to my conduct, 
fron^ which I used to receive so much benefit and delight. 
It was announced last night in the club that Lord Webb 
was to pass next winter in Edinburgh ; I hope you will 
confirm this, and send him down fully convinced that, with- 
out being a member of the said club, it is impossible to 
have any tolerable existence in Edinburgh. Do not forget 
your promise of recruiting for us. We shall want journey- 
men for a third, and sometimes for a half of each number, 
and I suspect they may be got better in town than anywhere 
else. I wish we could get a rational classic, and get that 
part of the journal done in a superior style. I long for 
the sheet of politics you promised me, and am beginning 


to have some omiosity to know what is to become of the 
world. — ^Believe me, &c. 

39.— To Francis Samevj Esq. 

Edinbiurgh, 2d September, 1808. 

My dear Homer — Mj last letter crossed yours on the 
road, and, of course, made it a delicate question which of 
us was in duty bound to write again. While I was at St. 
Andrews, the genius loci confined me to eating and drink- 
ing ; but now I hare awakened from my dream, and the 
cares and anxieties of my editorial functions begin to come 
thick upon me again. I hare, unfortunately, two or three 
law papers to write, and am so miserably provided with 
books for reviewing, that I am afraid my quota will be 
smaller this time than ever. Now that we are paid for our 
work, I feel a greater, delicacy in laying hold of any long 
article for myself, and should be perifectly satisfied if those 
who do lay hold of them would execute them according 
to engagement. Thomson has done nothing yet to Du- 
mont, &c. 

You see, then, how destitute I am, and you see the 
meaning of all this. It is, that you must do a great deal 
yourself^ and do it quickly. You have some very good 
books, and you will never have so good a time for working. 
Now, my dear Homer, do not take these for verba solemnia 
of my official dunning. I am in profound earnest, and 
most serious perplexity. You must not only work your- 
self for us, but you must set on the rest. Tell Smith we 
cannot do without him. We shall have no light articles 
at all, if he deserts us. Do stir up Peter Elmsley, more- 
over, and tell him that he promised to let me have some- 
thing. Both of these culprits have concealed their ad- 
dresses from me. Let me know where to find them, and 
I shall persecute them in person. You are sick of review- 
ing, I daresay. So am I ; but I have very little else to 
say to you. I heard and saw so little at St. Andrews, 


that I feel now like one of the seven sleepers on his return 
to the world. The world of Edinburgh is irery empty at 
present, and Smith and Elmsley will have told yon, at any 
rate, all those parts of its history which oOuld give you 
any pleasure. I am quite inconsolable for the loss of 
Smith, and cannot pass by his door without murmuring. 
I hope you see him often* Tell him to write me soon, and 
often. . If i knew his address, I should have been com- 
plaining to him already. Murray is still unwell, &c 

My dear Homer— "This doctor* will never do. I wish 
you would ezplain to me how he is endured in London, and 
what his friends say of his late doings, &c. Tell me what 
is said and expected among your wise people, if there be 
ten left in your absurd city. 

40. — To Francis Horner^ Fsq. 

EdiBburgh, 8th September, 1808. 

My dear Horner^- Your letter is one degree too digni- 
fied, and the expostulation a little too harsh. I care very 
little about the Review, and, though lam not going to give 
it up in a pet, I would much rather give it up altogether 
than give any one person a pretext for saying that I se- 
lected the most important or the easiest articles for myselft 
Perhaps the editor should not have been a writer at all. 
However, I hasten to appease you by saying that I have 
got back Millar, and shaU try what can be done with him, 
though it is a subject I do not. very much like. I may now 
mention to you that Thomson uid I agreed to propose it to 
Gran8toun,t of whose writing powers all his friends speak 
very highly, but he declines for the present taking any 
concern in our business. Was this yery weak and unri^a- 
sonable, most relentless Censor 7 or a reason for threat- 
ening to desert us, thou iron-hearted man 7 

Wednesday, 14th — ^I had written this length on the 

* Addington, Prime Minister. 

f George Cranstoun, afterward Lord Corehonse — ^a judge. 


morning I received your letter,. when I was suddenly called 
to the country by Mrs. J.'s illness. She is now almost en^ 
tirely recovered, and came here with me last night. I pro- 
ceed now with my answer. May I entreat you now to do 
Malthus, if possible, for this number ? You seem to treat 
me a little too much like a common dun, and to fancy that 
there is something very unreasonable in my proposing any 
thing that is to give you trouble, or cost you a little exer- 
tion. I know that writing reviews is not very pleasant to 
either of us ; but if I fedi the burden pressing very heavy 
on myself, is it not natural for me to ask some assistance 
from one who is so willing to bear his share of it ? I hope 
you do not imagine that I have made a trade of this editor- 
ship, or that I have, upon the whole, any interest in the 
publication that is essentially different Trom yoiirs, or 
Smith's, or that of any of our original associates. The 
main object of every one of us, I understand to be, our own 
amusement and improvement— joined with the gratification 
of some personal, and some national vanity. The pecuniary 
interest I take to be a very subordinate consideration to us 
all, and beg leave, for myself, to say that it shall never 
bind for me an hour to this undertaking after it comes to 
be, as you express it, altogether on a different footing from 
what it was in the beginning. When I am deserted by my 
old associates, I give up the concern ; and while they are 
willing to support it, I shfdl feel myself entitled to pester 
them with the story of our perplexities, and to make them 
bear, if possible, their full share of my anxieties. 

I do not know, my dear Homer, why I should ^te all 
this, or w)iy I should feel myself growing angry and in- 
dignant as I advance farther into this subject. I have a 
right, I hope, to ask you to write for us *, and you have a 
right, no doubt, to excuse yourself, and to make your own 
apologies ; but do not, if you please, announce to me so 
formally what « you wish to be understood" on the subject 
of your contributions, nor fancy that I am to take your 


orders as if I were a shopman of Constable's. Forgive me 
for this want of temper. Brougham and I shall write our 
full proportion for. this number; Murray, I hope, more 
than he has jet done, and T. Thomson also. If you fall 
off, therefore, it will not be by our example, but in spite 
of it. We shall be much at a loss for light sheet articles, 
unless Smith consents to exert himself. I shall write to 
him to-morrow or next day ; but am at this moment so 
much engaged with law papers that I have scarcely a mo- 
ment to spare for any thing else. I beg you to give me 
some notice of Elmsley if you will not submit to dun him 
yourself by my deputation. 

My dear Horner, you have no need to be anxious about 
your professional destiny, and before you are called to the 
bar you will have time enough to lay in your law, even 
though you should steal a day or two in the quarter to 
write reviews. I have no news for you. I have not seen 
Brougham since my return here. Murray is well again, 
and goes to the country to-morrow for a week, to recruit. 
I am in daily expectatioti of the letter you promise me in 
your last, and of much illumination on the state of affairs 
and parties in your city. De Puis goes to London to-mor- 
row, I believe. He is a good creature. Are there no 
tidings yet of Allen ? 

41.-70 FraneU Romer^ Usq. 

Edinburgh, 19th October, 1803. 
My dear Horner — ^I have got your letter, but not the 
packet. It will come to-morrow, I suppose, as it is a fast 
day, oh which no work can be done. Why do you only 
give me one article? and that only fifteen pages! You 
might at least have added Sir John Sinclair's. But, as 
you have one scolding epistle of mine on hand already, 
and as another will do neither of us any good, I intermit 
my wrath. You are right about the catalogue. It shall 
be a mere list; but then it will not fill a sheets and I must 

VOL.U.— 7 


scribble to fill up the deficiency, for there is not another 
soul that will make any exertion. After all^ I beliere we 
shall get out within a day after our proper time, though 
what sort of figure we are to make, I really have not 
leisure to conjecture. P. Elmsley has sent a sheetM of 
Greek upon Athenasus. We have no mathematics at all. 
I write chiefly to tell you about • He has no objec- 
tion to Wishaw undertaking his book, and I, of course, am 
extremely pleased to get rid of so delicate an engagements 
Is it intended to .be'^ done in the manner of an analysis ? 
If not, take care and do not let your friend laud too much. 
The author's connection with us of course must bearoided* 
But a reviewer, who is not one of us, may require to be 
reminded of the sternness and severity that this requires. 
I beg you would spare no urgency, and lose no time, in 
endeavouring to engage so respectable an associate. If 
we could once dip him in our ink, I think we should have 
something like a hold on him, I hope we shall never 
again get into such a scrape as we are just coming out of, 
(and that not without damage, I fear.) But we shall never 
get on comfortably unless we enlarge our phalanx by the 
association of two or three new recruits. For next numr 
ber I have not ^uch apprehepsioia ; you must do a great 
deal, (after that I shall never urge you beyond your con- 
venience), and Smith, I daresay, will not be idle. I 
scarcely know, however, what we shall have to put in it. 
Walter Scott has, in a manner, offered to do Godwin's Life 
of Chaucer; and as he understands the subject, and hates 
the author, I have a notion he will make a good article of 
it. We must abate something of our general asperity^ 
but I think we should make one or two examples of great 
delinquents in every number, &c. 

There is no news, and I have no leisure to prattle to 
you* All we reviewers are getting our heads modelled by 
Henning, and propose to send him to London to complete 
the seriea, by the addition of your vast eyebrows. I am 


BliU in despair for the countrj, and mean to fast and pray 
to-morrow as powerfully as possible. 

Brougham and Murray and I are rather awkwardly 
situated as to our military functions. We have two offers 
now at aviiandnm, to officer a battalion of pioneers, or one 
of the additional companies of the county yolunteers; 
neither of which corps^ however, are yet raised, &c. — God 
bless you, dear Horner, ever very truly yours. 

42.— To FrancU Horner y E^q, 

Edinburgh, 10th Febmaiy, 1801 

My dear Horner^ 

1 think your sensibilities about Stewart somewhat too 
nice.* I have only joined his name with Condorcet's in 
reference to a subject on which he himself quotes that 
author; but I will alter much more than that to give you 
satisfaction. I readily agree with you that the article 
might have been made better; but I cannot think that the 
subject afforded an opportunity for a very good one. I am^ 
very nearly in earnest in all I have said, and admit only 
a certain degree of inaccuracy, which could not have been 
well avoided, without making the doctrine less popular and 
comprehensible. I cannot help thinking that there is some 
value in my view of the limitation of metaphysical disco- 
veries, and I will take any wager you please, that when we 
are both eighty, you will be very much of my opinion. 

I am afraid I shall disappoint you in another article. 
I mean Dumont. Thomson has at last positively declined 
doing him, and sent him back to me only three days ago. 
I have read a volume, and I am sorry to say that I have 
already a very decided opinion as to the merits of the 
system. The book is written with great acuteness, and 
the doctrine is for the most part substantially good ; but 
for novelty or discovery, I can see nothing that in the 

* An artiole by Jeffrey on one of Dngald Stewart's Works. 


least resembles it. A great deal of labour is bestowed in 
making useless distinctions, and imperfect catalogues of 
things that never were either overlooked or mistaken by 
reasonable men. However, you need not be afnud of my 
rashnpss, I shall read the book twice over, and treat the 
man with all imaginable respect, &c. — ^Believe me always, 
di vostra vecchiezza devotissimo servitore. 

43. — To Francis Earner^ Esq. 

Edinburgh, 6th May, 1804. 

My dear Horner — I do not know whether the few lines 
I sent you from York will be allowed to give me a legal 
dispensation from the promise of writing, immediately after 
my arrival in Scotland. I got here, however, on Friday 
morning, and slept all that forenoon. On Saturday morn- 
ing I thought it my duty to go to the drill; and to-day I 
am afraid I have put off so much of the morning in idle- 
ness, that there is but little chance of this being ready for 
the post till to-morrow. 

I have nothing to tell you of my journey, which was 
prosperous and sleepy. Mrs. J., I am happy to say, I 
found in much better health than when I left her; and my 
table not so much encumbered with papers as to make 
me despair of clearing it before the beginning of the ses* 
sion, &c. ' 

So much for the res familiares. The res publicas, I am 
afraid, will not be discussed so easily. Happening to be 
long in bed yesterday, I found myself under the necessity 
of giving audience in that dignified posture to Constable 
& Co., who came dutifully to offer their congratulation, 
and to receive their orders, on my return. The cry is 
still for copy. We must publish, it seems, by the 16th of 
July, to attain the object for which we went back to the 
18th ; and they w'ish, if possible, to set th6 press agoing 
in the course of ten days from this time. Now, my most 
trusted and perfidious Horner, I earnestly coojure you to 


think how necessary it is for you to set instantly about 
Malthus. Shut yourself up within your double doors; 
commit the doctor for one eight days to his destiny ; and 
cease to perplex yourself << with what the Dutch intend, 
and what the French;" let the blue stockings of Miss 

be gartered by some idlei* hand ; resist, if possible, 

the seductions of Mrs. Smith, and the tender prattlings of 
Saba ; think only of the task which you have undertaken, 
and endeavour to work out your liberation in as short a 
time as possible. I do think it of consequence that we 
should begin, if possible, with this article, both because it 
is more important and more impatiently expected than 
any other, and because I really do not know of any other 
that I have a right to demand, or the power of getting 
ready so soon, &;c. 

The bibliopoles confided to me another great plan, in 
which I since find that most of our friends have been em- 
barked with great eagerness. It is no less than writing 
and publishing an entire new Encyclopaedia, upon an im- 
proved plan. Stewart, I understand, is to lend his name, 
and to write the preliminary discourse, besides other articles. 
Flayfair is to superintend the mathematical department, 
and Bobison the natural philosophy. Thomas Thomson 
is extremely zealous in the cause. W. Scott has embraced 
it with great afiection ; and W. Clerk, Cranstoun, and 
Erskine, have all agreed to contribute every thing that 
they possibly can do to its success. Coventry, Leslie, and 
that excellent drudge Stevenson, are also to he employed 
in the redaction ; and English assistance is to be solicited 
as soon as the scheme can be brought to any maturity. 
We hope to have your assistance also. The authors are to 
be paid at least as well as the reviewers, and are to be 
allowed to retain the copyright of their articles for separate 
publication, if they think proper. You will understand 
that all this is only talked of as yet ; but from the way in 
which it is talked of, I rather think it will be attempted. 



I Bhoald have given yoa more particolan^ if I had been 
able to meet with Thomson, bat he ia atill in the coantrj, 
and I have only gathered these cuttings from Cimatable 
and W. Scott. 

44.— >2ro Franeis Horner^ Usq* 

Edinlmrgh, 8d September, 1804. 
Dear Homer — ^I have intended to answer your letter 
every day this week, and I am sore tjbiat yon will believe 
that I am in earnest when I mform yen diat I have risen 
at seven o'clock this mommg to make myself sure of an 
opportunity. I have nothing to say to you, however, 
except just to dun and press as usual. I am amused with 
your audacity in imputing fastidiousness to me* I am 
almost as great an admirer as Sharpe. The only difference 
is, that I have a sort of consciousness that admirers are 
ridiculous, and therefore I laugh at almost every thing I 
admire, or at least let people laugh at it without contra- 
diction. You must be jn earnest when you approve, and 
have yet to learn that every thing has a respectable, and a 
deridable, aspect. I meant no contempt to Wordsworth 
by putting him at the head of the poetiowJ firm. I classed 
him with Southey and Coleridge who were partners once, 
and have never advertised their secessbn. We shall be 
overwhelmed with poetry. Scott's Lay is in the press too, 
and will be out by November. There is a set here as much 
infatuated about it as you were with Mackintosh. W. 
Erskine recited me half a canto last night, which he says 
is inimitable ; and I acquiesced with a much better grace, 
I am sure, than you did to Sharpe's raptures upon Words- 
worth. I am only afraid that they have persuaded Scot) 
into the same opinion, and that the voice of impartiality 
will sound to him like malignity or envy. Thwe is no 
help — justice must be done, and I, like the executioner, 
sball kiss him, and whirl him off, if the sentence be against 
him. I rather think though that hq will be acquitted^ •«, 


Talking of poets, I have a desponding epistle, from poor 
Oaiopbell, in which he says that his health i& bad, and 
that his spirits are worn down by staring all daj in a 
newspaper oflBce. This is lamentable. I wish yon would 
walk to Hmlico, and comfort him. Is it not possible td 
get something done for him? Wilna was better than a 
newspaper office. A race^-horse is better at grass than in 
a plough. He has promised some reviews, but I am skepti- 
cal as to London promises ; and, besides, I doubt very 
much if his performance will be laudable. I wish you 
would think though if any thing could be done for him in 
India, Ireland, or anywhere, &c. 

Lord Lauderdale is out,"^ delightfully angry and pert ; 
but I have scarcely read him through. Sir James Hall 
read a ^aper two days ago to the Royal Society, and 
showed the result of several curious Huttonian experiments. 
He melted chalk, pounded limestone, spar, and other 
carbonates, into substances very much resembling native 
limestone and ibarble, by a heat not exceeding 22^ of 
Wedge wood. He has also attempted to regenerate coal, 
and to manufacture coal from saW-dust and horn. He has 
seiit bis paper, I understand, to Nicholson ; so you will 
see it by-and-by. I think it very curious. He means to 
read atid publish a more detailed account of the transact 
tions in winter. Poor Alison is very ill. He has been 
confined to bed for these two months, and Gregory shakes 
his head about him^ though they say he is rather better. 
Stewart is still in the country, busy I hope with his second 
volume. Playfair, I fancy, is with you. 

The Review comes on very ill, or rather it does not come 
on at all. I have the mortification to see myself almost 
deserted, and to feel myself extremely stupid and incapa- 
ble of any meritorious exertion. I have done Richardson's 

* Out — ^in a pamphlet in answer to the Review, (No. 8, art. 8,) on his 
book on Fttblio Wealth. 


letters — tediously, I am afraid, and coarsely, and nothing 
else. I have read Barrow, but scarcely made up. my mind 
about him. I think he is nearly right, but I had always 
a profound contempt for the Chineses. I suspect I shall 
fall foul of them. Sir W. Jones I find is very dull and 
dry. We must be short, &;c. 

My dear Homer — Will you take compassion upon me, 
and rise five mornings at seven o'clock, and let me have 
Malthus to begin with ? Upon my honour, I would do that 
for you, horribly as I detest rising, if it would relieve you 
half as much as you can do me. These perplexities really 
take away from my happiness. It would be a very extra- 
ordinary, and somewhat of a ridiculous thing, if the work 
were to be dropped, while it flourishes as it does in sale ; 
and yet, if I do not get more assistance, it must drop, or 
become not worth keeping up. I did not mean to tease 
you with this, since it only teases you ; but I cannot help 
begging when I am actually starving, beggar-like as you 
use me. I missed Davy as he passed here. Indeed, I do 
not find that he saw anybody but the coterie at Dr. Hope's, 
though he did me the honour, I find, to call, &c. 

Tell me how your politics come on. We never speak of 
such things here. Indeed, I think we are every day get, 
ting more into the style of a secondary provincial town, 
and losing both our literature and our good breeding. 
That is the consequence of having so smooth a road to Lon- 
don, &c. I never pass through York Place without a little 
pang.* — Ever, dear Horner, most sincerely yours. 

45. — To Francis Homer ^ Usq. 

Edinburgh, 4th September, 1804. 

My dear Horner — This hot weather makes me bilious, I 

suppose ; for I cannot get fairly to the end of three pages 

without getting into bad humour — even though I rise in the 

very cool and blue of the morning to give my blood a fair 

* Homer lived there. 


^chance of coolness. But herje has been James Brougham, 
with his placid honest countenance, saying so many flat- 
tering and apologetic things of you, that I once more 
feel myself amiably disposed, and sit down to write to you 
in a most Christian temper of charity andjong-suffering. 

The most acceptable thing that fell from his persuasive 
lips was, tjiat you would haye n6 objection to answer Lau- 
derdale's pamphlet, provided it appeared unfit for review- 
ing. Now, it js clearly quite unfit for reviewing. In the 
first place, it is rude and impertinent in many places ; and 
ill the second, the review ought never to be made a vehicle 
of controversy, as it would soon be a vehicle for nothing 
else. We speak, of course, as judges, ahd of course must 
leave the bench when we are compelled to appear as par- 
ties. We could not consistently, or even with due regard 
to our reputation, affect to measure impartially the relative 
merits of Lord Lauderdale and of the Edinburgh Review, 
&c. With regard to answering the pamphlet, however^, I 
urgently entreat you to do it, both for Brougham's sake, 
and also in some degree for your own sake, and the sake 
of the doctrines contained in that Beview, for some of which 
I own I feel a sort of paternal anxiety. I haVe had time 
only to run over the said observations very slightly, but 
from what I have seen, I think them all very answerable. 
I am not quite clear about the pensionary and the sinking 
fund sections, but I have always severed on the brink of 
those subjects, without venturing myself into their depths. 
However, if you wiU undertake to write an answer, I will 
engage to send you a few notes on the whole work, of which 
you shall be we^lcome to make as little use as you think 
proper. The pamphlet makes no great fame here, and 
seems scarcely to be read except by the pqlitical auxiliaries 
of his lordship. However, that is no presumption against 
it. For if my Lord Lauderdale were to write as prettily 
as E^ekiel, the Dundassites would affect to scoff at it, &c. 
— ^Ever, my dear Horner, most sincerely yours. 



46. — To Francis HameTy Usq. 

Edinburgh, 20tli Juraary, 1805. 

My dear Horner — ^Tonr letters are always delightful, 
and afford zne more pleasure than any thing else that I« 
read. I wish I deserved them better. But I really have 
had no time to write, and as you are yourself the chief and 
most criminal cause of my hurry, I do not think you have 
any right to impeach me. If you will not write reviews, 
I cannot write any thing else. This number is out, thank 
heaven, without any assistance from Homer, Brougham, 
Smith, Brown, Allen, Thomson, or any other of those gal- 
lant supporters who voted their blood and treasure for its 
assistance. Will you, or will you not, do Malthus for 
April ? Is it fair to the Review, or kind to me, or well for 
yourself, to keep up an article of this kind for so enormous 
a time ? &c. 

This fit is over, however, and I go on. 

The Edinburgh world does not improve, I think. But it 
does not grow worse. I have great consolation in the club, 
and a thousand resources in Murray. By the bye, he has 
been under terrible apprehension otffout for this last fort- 
night. I tell him that his career is at an end, that he shall 
dance no more, but ought to make up his mind to flannel 
and thick ankles for the sad residue of his life. I do not 
think he has any thing worse than a slight rheumatism in 
his knee ; but he is very anxious and full of precautions. 
Tease him, if you are idle enough, with a long epistle of 
condolence, &c. I increase daily in affection for Johnny 
Playfair. He has given me liberal and friendly assistance 
in this la&t number, and with so much cheerfulness and 
punctuality, that if you have any proper conception of my 
fury against you, you may have some notion of my grati- 
tude tp him. 

Murray and I have a plan to make all the reEfpectable 
part of the bar, who are young enough to be aci^essible, ac- 


quainted with each other, that the good spirit which is in 
them, and which runs some risk of being corrupted, or 
quelled, and overawed, when it<is single, may be strength- 
ened by commnnicatioh and union, and give to the body 
liereafter something of a higher and more independent 
character than it has lately borne, &c. 

My dear Homer — I am still very painfully busy, and 
having got a bad habit of dining out, I do not see when t 
am likely to be at leisure again. But I will write to you 
by-and-by, when I am out of debt to the agents. In the 
mean time, letme hear from you frequently, and believe me 
always, most sincerely yours. 

^ 47. — To Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 6th February, 1806. 
My dear John — 

I was' applied to a few weeks ago for a letter of introduc- 
tion to you, which I granted with great unwillingness and 

much sorrow. It was for a Mr. and his wife, who have 

been unfortunate in Glasgow, and are going to try what 
fortune v^ill do for them in America. I know very little 
about the man, and it is chiefly for the sake of the wife that 
I wish you to do them all the good you can. I daresay 
you remember her as one of the beauties of Glasgow. Her 

name was ; and her story is something romantic. 

She was desperately in love with a youth of the name of 
— — , who went to India, and died. Her father insisted 

on her marrying -, who was then in the way of getting 

very rich. After the' death of her true love she complied, 
and has been a most exemplary wife, even in this land of 
domestic virtue. Her husband speculated, ind was ruined. 
For the last year they have been penniless ; and the poor 
girl has subsisted the whole family, in a great measure, by 
the labour of her own innocent hands ; has maintained an 
heroic cheerfulness and equality of temper ; and agreed^ 


without mnrmuringy to accompany her imprudent husband 
to a strange country, at a distance from all hdr friends 
There is more magnanimity in this than in peaking blank 
Terse and swallowing laudanum. I have seen very little of 
her for two years. You will not find her very clever or 
Tery accomplished, but she is ft generous and noble-hearted 
woman, and one who deserves every sort of assistance. 
I beg you would not neglect them, &c. — ^Ever, my dear 
John, most affectionately yours, 

48.— 2% Mr9. Morehead. 
(Soon after his Wife's death.) 

Glasgow, 28d August, 1805. 
My dearest Margaret — I left you chiefly because I could 
not bear to burden your spirits with the sight of my con- 
tinual misery. But I hope^ the movement will do some 
good to my own also. As yet, however, I cannot jsay that 
I feel any relief. The sight of this place naturally reminds 
me of the last visit I paid to it ; when my darling was ex- 
ulting in the idea of improving health ; when I saw her 
dressed and smiling, and contrasted her innocent raptures 
on the journey to Inverary ; and folded her to my breast 
with transport, when she told me of the pleasure she re- 
ceived from the praises of her husband's speeches. And 
this is about three months ago. It is not so much since I 
saw her sitting affectionately with Mainie* in this very 
room, and led her across the street ; which I cannot look 
back upon without shuddering. It 13 impossible for me to 
tell you how eagerly I seek after these recollections, and 
how strongly they move me. We had a distant peep of 
Bothwell Castle from the road yesterday, and it brought to 
my mind so forcibly the delightful visit we paid there, you 
remember, more than a year ago, that I could scarcely per- 
suade myself I was not actually looking down on the river, 

* His sister, Mrs. Broim. 


witb jon on one hand and my Kitty on the other^ with 
nothing bat apring, and lifoi and joy around us. It was 
the same when we walked out to Langaide laat night. You 
remember when we dined there first, before setting out on 
the expedition, and I saw my lamb walking stately on the 
lawn, and sitting in the garden, and looking from every 
window in the house. You cannot conceive what a relief 
it was to me, after being in sight of people all day, to lie 
down on that lawn, and weep my fill for her. 

I have nothing to tell you of our adventures. We got 
here about three o'clock, a good d^al jostled, but quite 
well ; dined alone, and walked out after dinner to see the 
children at the cottage. They are both quite well too, 
and much improved in beauty and understanding. Re- 
turned in the dusk ; went to bed early ; slept a good deal, 
and rose rather late. I start half the night, as I gene* 
rally do, in calling to Kitty to appear to me, to let me 
hear one note of her voice, or to give me some token of 
her existence and continuing care for me» Sometimes I 
feel unaccountably calmer after this, and sometimes quite 
oppressed and desponding. I have seen nobody to-day 
but Margaret Lowdon, whose gentleness and unaffected 
sorrow has soothed me more than any thing since I left 
you, by drawing social tears from me. I think my be- 
loved would have been gratified with the sensibility with 
which she received her hair, and the little memorials we 
set aside for her. I hope I have distributed these as she 
could have wished. The only pleasure I have now upon 
earth is in doing what I think s^e would have praised me 
for. Almost the only pleasure, indeed, I had before, was 
in receiving or anticipating her praises. We are to dine 
at the College to-day. The exercise of walking to it is 
of use to me, I think, and there is something soothing in 
the solitude and quiet of the country. I shall be back 
with you very soon, my dear Margaret. Mainie is very 
kind, but, except Margaret Lowdon and herself, there is 

VoL.n.— 8 


not a creature here to whom I could bear to name her. 
You are good and gentle, and indulgent and sincere, both 
in your sympathy, and in your own sorrow and affection. 
You always soothe me whenever you speak of her, and by- 
and-by, perhaps, I shall not oppress you so much with my 
regrets. There is one thing, though, which I have been 
thinking about, Margaret; I will not live with you during 
your confinement. I perceive that I must crowd and dis- 
turb you; and though your kindness overlooks that, I 
must not. There is really not room for your mother and 
nurses, &c. ; and, by that time, I am afraid that people 
might be coming about me that would make the scene still 
more tumultuous. Besides, my dear love, I am not sure 
that this might not be too mucJi for me. I have scarcely 
been able to look on young children with composure for 
these three years, and in your case the remembrance would 
be too painful. I have almost determined then to go td 
my own house, &c. — ^Ever, my best Margaret, most grate- 
fully and affectionately yours. 

49.— To Oharlee Belly Usq. 

Edinburgh, 21st January, 1806. 

My dear Charles — • 

George tells me you began to lecture, last Saturday ,^ and 
I believe I am nearly as impatient asi he is to learn the 
success of your debut. But in a place where there is 
so much jealousy, and intrigue, and association, there is 
undoubtedly some risk at the beginning. If you are once 
fairly launched, you will go on smoothly. I wish you 
may be simple and plain enough in your lectures. I think 
I have observed in your writings a certain degree of con- 
straint and finery, which would be much better away, &c. 

George is improving in industry,, and rising daily in 
reputation. I know no man whose character is so com- ^ 
pletely respectable, whose heart is so kind, and whose 


principles so houourable and steac^y. A certain degree 
of constraint in his manners, and a kind of irritability 
arising from an excessive intolerance for any thing mean 
or unhandsome, have hitfterto kept his full value from 
being generally understood. These, however, are daily 
diminishing, and as his increasing notoriety brings him 
more and more into varied and polished society, they mil 
disappear altogether, and make him as great a favourite 
with his new acquaintances as he has long been with his 
intimate friends. It;is a kind of ill-breeding, I believe, to 
talk to you so much of so near a relative ; but I am as 
proud of his friendship as you are of your relationship, 
and cannot refuse myself this gratification. 

I am sorry to lose Richardson ; he is gentle and kind- 
hearted, as those from whom you would not hide your 
weaknesses, nor think it necessary to disguise your affec- 
tions. I think you will have considerable comfort in his 
society. There is something domestic and almost feminine 
in his manners that must be very soothing to one who lives 
alone in the hardness of male society. 

I have heard nothing more from you about the drawing 
you were kind enough to promise you would again attempt 
for me, and am afraid you could make nothing of the re- 
marks I sent you in the former. Do not put youtself to 
any inconvenience, but do not forget, my dear friend, a 
promise upon which I think hourly. I am very much as 
I was. My home is terrible to me ; and I am a great deal 
in company. I am gay there, and even extravagant as 
usual ; but I pass sad nights, and have never tasted of 
sweet sleep since my angel slept away in my arms. I did 
not mean to distress you with this ; do not think it neces- 
sary to answer it. Your book is coming on, I see, but 
slowly. It is not perfectly well written, and wants sim- 
plicity and precision. There is an art in this which you 
have not had leisure to study, but I will answer for its suc- 
cess, and its deserving it, &c. 


50. — To FranciB Horner^ Hag, . 

Edinburgh, 9th Mareh, 1806. 

My dear Horner— Though I believe you have still a 
foolish letter of mine unanswered, I feel ungrateful till I 
I have thanked you for your laslj long and exemplary one. 
You must not wonder at my friendship though ; for wonder, 
in your philosophic head, stands pretty near to incredulity ; 
and, besides, if there is to be any wondering in th6^ matter, 
I suspect it would become me better than you. I have 
never done you any service, nor, am I afraid, been the 
oOGasi(Hi of much gratification to you. In my happier days 
I ran some risk of your contempt, by my levity and uncon- 
cern about the great objects of your attention ; and lately 
I have appeared weak and querulous, and have repaid your 
kind and generous sympathy with something of misanthropy 
and ingratitude. Yet I do not doubt the least of your 
friendship, nor does it come into my head to wonder at it. 
On tho contrary, I should wonder very much if it were now 
to be withdrawn. Your scheme of life is admirable; but 
when I read it over to Murray, I said you were in more 
danger of being assailed by competition than you seemed 
to be awar^ of. In three days after, I heard that you had 
been tempted, and had yielded. I congratulate you heartily 
on your nomination,* and rejoice at it as an earnest of 
greater honour, and a pledge to yourself and your friends of 
the estimation you have already obtained with the most dis- 
cerning and severe judges of merit. In some other points 
of view, I am not so sure that it is to be rejoiced at. It 
will interfere, I am afraid, both with yoi^r professional 
advancement, and with your literary and private pursuits ; 
and it has not the splendour, nor the opportunity for dis- 
play and great public service, which belongs to offices more 
purely political. If you were not so conscientious, so scru- 

* As one of the Commissioners for the liquidation of the Nabob of 
Aroot's debts. 


pnioiis, and so prone to laborious investigation, I should not 
haye so mncli apprehension. Bat these unhappy propen* 
sities will inyolye you in infinite labours, and, I am afraid, 
will enable your new duties to engross an alarming propor- 
tion of your time and your exertions. But perhaps I 
mistake the nature of the office. Tell me more about it 
when you have leisure to write. I am afraid here is the 
end of your reviewing, &c. 

This leads me to say something of myself. I thank you, 
my dear Homer, a thousand times, for your unwearied and 
affectionate solicitude, and for the counsels and expostula- 
tions which soothe and gratify me, at least, by their kind- 
ness, though I may not be able to comply with them. I 
can never endure a solitary home, even if it were not a 
desolated one ; nor can I perceive any motive for my en* 
countering all these agonies, that I may come to stupify in 
dreamy repose, instead of agitating myself with fretful and 
frivolous occupations. Till my affections can take root 
again and flourish, I can taste no substantial happiness ; 
and whatever cheats me of time and recollection most effec- 
tually, is now the most eligible course of life I can follow. ^ 
Do not imagine, however, from any 'thing I may have said 
to you or Murray, that I spend the whole of my idle hours 
in turbulent and heartless society, for the mere purpose of 
distraction. I do that, certainly, rather than spend thrati 
alone. But there are several families in which I have a 
more suitable consolation ; simple women, with whom I am 
intimate, and sweet children, by whom I am beloved, are 
the great instruments of my dissipation ; and you will not 
easily persuade me that this is not a more whole^me and 
rational discipline for a mind distempered like mine, than 
studies without interest, and solitude which exertion could 
teach me only to endure. Tell me, however, what you 
would have me to do ? and why ? I grow every day more 
familiar with these impressions as to the insignificance of 
life, and the absurdity of being much concerned about any 



tiling that it presents, which have more than once excited 
your indignation ahread j, so that I am afraid we should not 
agree very well in our premises. Labour and exertion do 
infinitely less for our happiness and our virtue than you 
stern philosophers will allow yourselves to believe; and 
half the pains and suffering to which we are exposed arise 
from the mortification of this ridiculous self-importance 
which is implied in aH your heroic toils. This you think 
spleen and paradox ; but it was my creed before I was 
splenetic, and a creed that conducted me to happiness. 
And what, my dear Homer, are all your labour^ for repu- 
tation, and distinctioQ^ and the esteem of celebrated per* 
sons, but fatiguing pastimes, and expensive preparatives 
for the indulgence of those affections that are already 
within your own reach. I do think an^bition a folly and a 
vice, except in a schoolboy, and conceive it to be evident 
that it leads to unhappiness, whether it be gratified or dis- 
appointed. — ^Believe me ever, most affectionately yours. 

51. — To Mt%. Morehead, 

'- Southampton, 1st September, 1SQ6. 
My dear Margaret — I got your kind letter at Ports- 
mouth, on Thursday, and wrote next day to Bob a pretty 
full account of our journeyings and adventures up to that 
date. We have been ever since in the Isle of Wight, 
which we only left this morning, and I must now give you 
some further account of our proceedings. The said isle 
is very well worth visiting ; and I have some hope of lead- 
ing you over its beauties one day when I am rich and idle 
and happy. On the side next the mainland, it is finely 
wooded and swelled into smooth hills, and divided by broad 
friths and inlets of various and fantastical appearance* 
But the chief beauty, I think, lies on the south, where it 
opens to the wide ocean, and meets a warmer sun than 
shines upon any other spot of our kingdom. On this 
side, it is, for the most part, bounded by lofty chalk cliffs, 


which rise, in the most dazzling whitendss^ out of the blue 
Bea into the blue skj, and make a composition something 
like Wedg^wood's enamel. The cliffs are in some places 
enormously high; from 600 to 700 feet. The beautiful 
places are either where they sink deep into bays and val- 
leyS| opening like a theatre to the sun and the sea, or 
where there has been a terrace of low land formed at their 
feet, which stretches under the shelter of that enormous 
wall, like a rich garden-plot, all roughened over with 
masses Of rock, fallen in distant ages, and overshadowed 
with thickets of myrtle, and roses, and geraniums, which 
all grow wild here in great luxuriance and profusion^ 
These spots are occupied, for the most part, by beautiful, 
ornamented cottages, designed and executed, for the most 
part, in the most correct taste. Indeed, it could not be 
easy to make any thing ugly in a climate so delicious, 
where all sorts of flowers, and shrubs, and foliage multiply 
and maintain themselves with such vigour and rapidity. 
The myrtles fill all the hedges, and grapes grow in fes* 
toons from tree to tree, without the assistance of a wall. 
To the west, the land rises into lofty and breezy downs, 
and at the extreme point the land lias been worn down, by 
• the violence of the sea, into. strange detached fragments of 
white rock, which people call needles, and come a long labo- 
rious way to see,. They are the only ugly things upon the 
island. We walked a great deal her6, and saw every thing 
at our leisure, by sunlight and moonlight, alone and in a 
body. I had many delightful reveries, which I shall one 
day dilate to you ; but at present I am scribbling with all 
possible rapidity in order to save the post, which goes out 
almost immediately* We crossed, this morning, to Lyming- 
ton, and came here through the New Forest, v This is a 
fine scene, too, and the last of the fine scenes I believe I 
shall see in England ; fine oak wood, spread over rough, 
uneven country for thirty miles, opening, every now and 
then, into fine, open, pastoral villages, and broken by 


heatfaj mountftms and the windings of a broad arm of the 
sea ; — the day hot and still, mostly cloudy, bat with spots 
and streams of yellow sanshine falling upon the remote 
and prominent parts of the deep woody circle, and con- 
trasting with the blue vapoury appearance of that distance 
which remained in shade. I am going, after the vicar 
rises, to see Netley Abbey, which is said to be the finest 
view in England. To-morrow we proceed to Windsor, 
and on Wednesday to London. I set out for Scotland, I 
diink, positively on Monday the 8th ; and as I propose to 
come in the mail, I shall be in Edinburgh on Thursday or 
Friday morning. A thousand thanks for your kind and 
compassionate offer of coming to receive me ; but I think 
I shall arrive early in the morning, before you are out of 
bed. However, I shall write to you again, when 1 have 
finally fixed on my movements. You must not write to 
me in answer to this, as I shall not stay to receive it ; but 
I hope you have already written to me. Heaven bless 
you, and reward you for your kindness to me, &c.-^Believe 
me always most affectionately yours. 

52. — To Franci% Homer ^ JStq, 

Edinburgh, 18th September, 1806. 
My dear Horner — I wish I had something to say worth 
your listening to. But my views coincide entirely with 
yours as to general points, and they are quite as little ma^ 
tured with reference to immediate action. I can assure 
you, however, that I am not indifferent or inattentive to 
what is now going on, and that it requires a very frequent 
recurrence to the principles of my philosophy, and many 
recollections of my own utter impotence, to prevent me 
from surprising you with my ardour. It is easy to see 
what ought to be done, andnot difficult to inflame one's self 
with the contemplation of it. But when we come to the 
ways and means of carrying it into effect, I own I have 
never yet been able to discover the slightest ground for 


confideiKSe or hope, and oonclude, therefore, that my af 
feotion« might be more wisely placed on objects that are 
more attainable at least, if they are less exalted. I agree 
with you entirely in thinking that there is in the opulence, 
intelligence, and morality of our middling people a sufficient 
quarry of materials to make or to repair a free constitution ; 
bat the difficulty is in raising them to the surface. The 
best of them meddle least with politics; and, except as jury- 
men or justices of peace, they exercise scarcely any in- 
fluence upon the public proceedings of the society. The 
actual government of the country is carried on by some- 
thing less, I take it, than 200 individuals, wlio are rather 
inclined to believe that they may do any thing they please, 
so long as the more stirring part of the community can be 
seduced by patronage, and the more contemplative by their 
love of ease and their dread of violence and innpvation. 
You must falsify the premises of this reasoning by a great 
moral reform before you can challenge the conclusion. Tou 
linust make our adventurers and daring spirits more honest, 
and our honest and intelligent men more daring and am* 
bitious ; or, rather, you must find out some channel through 
which the talent and principle of the latter may be brought 
to bear upon the actual management of affairs, and may 
exert its force in controlling or directing the measures of 
government in some more efficient way than in discoursing 
in private companies^ or lamenting in epistles. This is the 
problem. There is a great partition set up between the 
energy that is to save the country and the energy that is 
to destroy it ; the latter alone is in action, and the other 
CMinot get through to stop it. I scarcely see any thing 
but a, revolution, or some other form of violence, that can 
beat down the ancient and ponderous barrier. Show me 
how tUs great work is to be accomplished, and you will 
find me as zealous, and more active than any of you. You 
fine wits of London are not the people, nor are you the 
persons to stir them. You have too mudb personal am- 


bition, too mach refined philosophy, too mach habitual dis- 
sipation, and a great deal too much charity and indulgence 
for idleness, profligacy, and profusion, to project or execute 
such a project if it were practicable. I speak of you in 
the mass. You are not one of them. You try to persuade 
yourself that you are Londonized, and that it is right to be 
so. But you are mistaken. It will^take you six idle win- 
ters to bring you down to that level. But, in truth, I do 
not think the scheme practicable by any set of pei*sons. 
The antiquity of our government, to which we are indebted 
for so many advantages, brings this great compensating 
evil along with it ; there is an oligarchy of ^eat families^- 
borough-mongers and intriguing adventurers — that mono- 
polizes all public activity, and excludes the mass of ordi- 
nary men nearly as much as the formal institutions of other 
countries. How can you hope to bring the virtues of the 
people to bear on the vices of the government, when the 
only way in which a patriot can approach to the scene of 
action is by purchasing a seat in Parliament? A correct 
view of our actual constitution, I have often thought, would 
be a curious thing, and a careful examination of it ought, 
at all events, to precede any attempt at reform. 

These are some of my general views, and you see they 
lead naturally to that apathy and apparent indifference in 
which other circumstances have led me to indulge. You 
must not sneer any more, however, at my philosophy. I 
could give you a key to it that would move your pity rather 
than your derision. My mind is diseased, I know, and I 
rather think incurably. However, I am sometimes tempted 
to pluck up a spirit, and to say, like the old Roman con- 
spirator who came on the stage in his nightcap, «I am not 
sick, if you have any business that is worth being well for." 
But these would be but big words, I feai*, and I will not 
say them yet. Whatever I may think of remote conse- 
quences, I can have no doubt as to the conduct which the 
friends of Mr. Fox ought now to adopt. They cannot hope 


to form a zninistration of themBelves, apd they most either 
unite with the Grenyilles, or see the Hawkesbury^ and 
Castlereaghs unite with them. I do not think exactly as 
you do as to the utter dissolution of the Whig interest. I 
hope it will generate a new head for itself, as the snails do, 
instead of dying when the old one is cut off. The bees con* 
trive somehow to tnake a queen when the place becomes 
vacant, and are you . less political animals than they 7 
Look about among your political infants, and you will dis- 
cover a new incaTnation of the larvae. It js difScult to kill 
the soul of a party. And have not your old studies taught 
you that the demand will insure the supply ? J never had 
any hope of Mr. Fox's recovery, and wondered at those 
who had. It is very deplorable. Is he to be buried with 
public honours ? I think not. I have written all this with- 
out a word of reviewing, and, to say the truth, I am as 
sick of the subject as you can be, &c. — Very affectionately 

63. — To Francis Somery JE%q. 

Edinburgh, 25th NoTember, 1806. 

My dear Homer — 

I have said nothing all this time to your charge of 
calumny. — I call you a political adventurer, it seems, and 
a place hupter, at least I think you so. I never heard 
such raving in my life before, and am much more inclined 
to laugh than be angry. I thought you had known my 
opinion of you something better. . But since you are so 
miserably ignorant, I must tell it you, I find, whatever 
offence it may give to your modesty. I do not think there 
is anybody alive, except perhaps myself, who despises more 
heartily the emoluments of ofSce, pr the personal rewards 
of political services. I could never for a moment either 
say or suspect that these things weighed one grain in your 
calculation, or dictated one action, or one meditation of 


yoor heart. Bat every man has some objects, and I will 
tell you what I think are yours ; — first, to do some good, 
to make society and posterity year debtors, to be a beiie« 
factor to mankind ; next, to cultivate and improve your 
own mind, to acquire a just relish for excellence, and to 
familiarize yourself with all the accomplishments that make 
a lofty and amiable character. After those, I think your 
object is to be known for those merits; to enjoy the con« 
sideration, the gratitude, the confidence, that must belong 
to such a being. Those are the things for which you 
labour and task yourself. You have other objects of course, 
but they are attainable on easier terms, and the pursuit of 
them will never mark your destiny. You would wish to be 
loved in private life, and to be tranquil and amiable in 
domestic society; last of all, yon would choose to be rich, 
partly for independence, partly for beneficence, and partly 
for vanity. This is about the scale by which I arrange 
the things that seem good to you in this world; and^ right 
or wrong, you will judge whether it will suit a political 

But I say you will desert your profession, and I prog- 
nosticate that politics will engross you. Well, I do ; and 
if you will only have patience, you will soon see and feel 
what I mean. It is not always convenient for a prophet 
to explain his predictions, but your perversity provokes 
one to run this hazard. Will you let me say that I smile 
with a little incredulity when you assure me, with that 
virtuous earnestness, that you are attached to your profes- 
sion/or its own sake? What I special pleading, wrangling 
at circuits, quibbling, suppressing scorn for villanous attor- 
neys, sleeping over cases ! No, my dear Horner, you have 
a much better taste. You do not love your profession for 
its own sake; and if you had <£10,000 a year, you would 
as soon think of a curacy. Then, it is for the money. 
Independence — that is very right ; but I say it is neither 
first in your list, nor is it attainable by laW alone. In the 


first place, by independence you mean rtches — something 
about <£2QG0 a year. You are in ho actual danger of 
(Starving, nor is it a matter of necessUy for you to get this, 
it is ambition, and I tell you it is not your first ambition. 
Tour leading objects are to do good — to improve yourself 
—to acquire consideration. Now, do you really think 
that it is altogether and entirely impossible that you should 
discover, in the course of a year or two, that you can do 
more good, and gain more fame and improvement, by de- 
voting yourself to political pursuits, than by drudging on 
in the more obscure and irksome occupation of a Chancery 
lawyer ? It is a part of my prophecy, you will observe, 
that you will find yourself of more consequence than you 
are now aware of, and that you will feel, by-and-by, that 
you would not only be defrauding yourself of the destina* 
tion to which you are entitled, but the public also of services 
— ^which are always owing by those who have the power to 
perform them — by declining the tasks that are put upon 
you, or withdrawing yourself from the duties which you 
will find gathering round you. This is what I meant 
when I said your vocation was for public life. Not that 
you had a taste for the dirty work of a political under- 
ling, oV a thirst for the dirt which buys them ; and I ex- 
horted you not to struggle against your destiny. I do 
assure you not because I saw in you the features of a good 
tool for a ministry, but because it appeared to me that you 
were sitting down at the second table when you had been 
unequivocally invited to the first. If my premises are 
right, you cannot dispute my conclusions; and it is enough 
for my justification that I believe them to be right. But 
I care very little about my justification ; for I am sure you 
can never believe, in earnest, that I ever entertained any 
opinion with regard to you that was not full of affection 
and esteem. 

But I should like to say something for your conviction 
also, and make you think my opinion not only not injurious 

Vol. n.— 9 G 


to you, bat not unreasonable. I can see no motive, how- 
ever, for your sacrificing the promise of your political 
career to your profession, but that you are surer of making 
^ regular income by the latter — a very weighty considera- 
tion, but not quite suited to the lofty view in which you 
speak of it. It is not high principle or noble consistency, 
then, my dear Homer, but vulgar worldly prudence, ihsi 
determines you to this ^prefbrence. I say nothing in dis- 
paragement of prudence. But what should we have said 
of the prudence that would have kept Pitt at the bar, or 
driven Fox to have repaired his fortune at Westounster' 
Hall ? I believe you are richer than either of these men, 
and you have better notions of accuracy. Cure yourself 
of avarice, then, or a selfish vulgar desire of the vanities 
and accommodations of upper life, and you may be inde- 
pendent without grating down your faculties in the obscure 
drudgery of your professsion. You need not live at any 
great expense till you are a minister of state, and then we 
will supply you with the means. In the mean time, if you 
contract no debt, you will have your Carnatic allowance to 
make a little fund of-H5all that £6000 or £7000. Then, I 
suppose you will not be so absurd as to refuse an ofiSce in 
which you may do important service to the public, because 
thero may be a salary annexed to it ? 

While your party is in power, you cannot, I think, be 
very long without the oflfer of some such efiScient ill-paid 
situation ; and I do not think I calculate the chances very 
largely when I say, that, with a proper exertion of econo- 
my, and. love of independence, you may save £10,000, and 
more in a few years. Your father, I suppose, will give or 
leave you something ; so that altogether I have made you 
up an independent fortune of £1,000 a year upon very easy 
terms. While you remain <unmadrried you must learn to live 
upon that, and you will not marry in a hurry. If your 
party remains long in power, you will soon get beyond all 
. this. But I take the chances most unfavourably ; . and I 


say that even if you were to return to the bar After having 
lost three or four years (as the professioB irill call it) in 
Parliament, the reputation you will have acquired, and the 
connections you will have formed, will insure you i»mploy- 
ment enough to indemnify you fcnr this vacation, and that 
if it be somewhat less extensive, it will be mcHre select and 
agreeable than if you had crept forward on your belly, 
eating dust in the clamour of your halls of jnstioe. 

After all, why should you not venture a little ? You are 
in no danger of being miserably poor ; — ^you can always 
command an independence, (in my humble philosophical 
-sense of the word;) and when that is the case I would 
obey the call of duty and the impulse of my own ambition, 
although I did expose to some hazard my prospect of grow- 
ing gradually and certainly rich. I am anxious, I have 
often told you, to see you given up to politics. We have 
need of you there. We can do very well without you at 
the bar. There is a deplorable want of young senators 
with zedrl for liberty, and liberal and profound views as to 
the real interests of mankind. The world is going to ruin 
for want of them ; and shall we quietly permit the few that 
are gifted with talent9 and virtues to serve the need of 
civilized and moralized men, to sneak away from that high 
duty because they can fill their purses, and furnish their 
houses, more certainly by drudging at some low employ- 

I write all this to you, my dear Horner, very sincerely. 
I know you will disclaim this character as warmly as you 
did that you dreamed I gave you. But I must judge of 
you for myself; and I predict that the world will one day 
think of you as I do now, and as I have long done. You 
would have disbelieved me equally, if I had predicted four 
years ago, when you went, an unknown lad, to London, . 

that by this time you would have forced yourself into the / 

legislature in the most honourable and commanding way, 
by the mere force of character — ^without a shadow of s(^- 


Beryiencj) or even an opportunity of public display. I did 
predict this at the time, and yet you mock at my prophe- 
cies now. Oh thou of little faith ! I think you have great 
talents for public life, and great virtues, which should be 
displayed there for correction and example. I have begun 
lately to think that you had not such qualifications for a 
lawyer. Tou cannot work regularly and constantly, nor 
without knxiety and preparation. Your work would be an 
infinite oppression to you. It would suffocate you before 
it rose to JSSOOO a year. You must not take it amiss 
that I tell you this. Indeed, I am iA)t over and above 
sure of the truth of the sentiment, and I will confess 
it never occurred to me till I had settled it with myself, 
that it would be a public misfortune and a private blunder 
if you were to abandon politics for law. Have I wearied 
you with all this ? The length of it, however, will convince 
you that I am not quite so indifferent about you as you 
accuse me of being. Indeed, there is nobody upon earth 
in whom I am more interested, and few things that I de- 
sire so earnestly as your happiness and advancement. 

I thank you for your concern about me. I am tole- 
rably welL I do not keep late hours, and I indulge no 
anxiety. It is my misfortune that I have nothing to be 
anxious about. You must forgive me for not being in 
raptures with London and London people ; and for think- 
ing that the best is, for the most part, so little above the 
ordinary, that for common occasion it is scarcely at all 
preferable, and is only sought after from vanity.* The 
whole game of life appears to me a little childish, and the 
puppets that strut and look lofty very nearly as ludicrous 
as those that value themselves on their airs and graces — 
poor littie bits of rattling timber — to be jostled in a bag as 
soon as the curtain drops. I do not see very much to 
condemn in my own way of life. I fancy it very natural 
and rational. If it be not very happy it is not my fault. 
God bless you, my dear Horner. — Very faithfully yours, 

F. Jbpprby. 


The learned Dr. - — r of St. Andrews has nine grown- 
up daughters, and a salary of «£90. They have nearly 
ruined him for potatoes. But three of them have lately 
gotie to try their fortunes as dress-makers in London, and 
fixed themselves in No. 3 Jermyn Street. I was very 
much amused by their extreme simplicity when they were 
with my sister, Mrs. Morehead, on their way to town. I 
am afraid they have but a poor <$hance of success. Could 
you persuade Mrs. Horner, out of nationality, to give 
them any patronage ? or Mrs. L. Horaer ? or my dear 
Hits. Smith ? One* of them served a regular apprentice- 
ship in town, and they are very good girls. Do npt 
despise this. It is really worth while to try to make 
people happy. Did you ever send the books we spoke of 
to poor little David Wilson ? He will sell them, I dare- 
say, but no matter. , 

54.-7-70 Mr. John Jeffrey. 

Edinburgh, 28th Januarj, 1807. 

My dear John — I received your first melancholy letter* 
about a month ago,. and my first movement was naturally 
to write to you without a moment's delay. I did so ac- 
cordingly, but upon considering your letter to my father, 
in which you seemed to speak so decidedly of your imme- 
diate departure from America, I threw my letter into the 
fire, and was glad to gain a little respite from the task of 
so distressing a conversation. I have just received your 
last letter, and regret now that I did not send off my 
former. It will be so long now, before you can hear from 
me, that I am afraid you will think me negligent ; yet I 
assure you I have thought. of little else since I first heard 
of this dreadful affliction. 

How keenly and how painfully I feel for you> you may 
judge from tKe cruel similarity of our fortunes, even if 
there, were no deeper sympathy in our characters. The 

* Announcing the death of his (John's) wife. 

102 UFi 6f LORD fEtFKEY. 

pain I have felt, indeed, i& not so properly sympathy, as 
a renewal of my own afflictions. If I had found any ef* 
fectnal comf6rt myself, this might enahle me to lead yon 
to it also ; bnt I do think yonr loss irreparable, and I 
monrn for you as well as for myself. I found no consola- 
tion in business, and nothing but new sources of agony in 
success. The ear is closed in which alone I wished my 
praises to be sounded, and the prosperity I should haye 
earned with such pride for her, and shared with her with 
such delight, now only reminds me of my loneliness. I 
have fou£kd one consolation, howerer, and that is in the 
love and society of those whom she loved and lived with. 
Her sister, J think I told you, married Robert Morehead, 
tod is settled here. I am contiilually with her, and de- 
pend upon her love and confidence in me for alll the enjoy- 
ment I have still in existence. She loves me with the 
warmest and most unbounded affection, and while I can 
be with her, I can still open my heart to sweet and sooth- 
ing sensations. In living with her friends, and doing 
what I think would have gained her praise, I sometimes 
find a faint shadow of the happiness which I enjoyed in 
her presence. I can give you no other advice, and there- 
fore I am glad that you have not so soon quitted the 
scene in which you were accustomed to see your darling, 
and come at once among people to whom she was un- 
known. Tou win not love us, I am afraid, because we did 
not know your Susan, and because her idea is not'' con- 
nected in your mind with any of our concerns, &c. 

I hope that even at present you do not indulge in soli- 
tude. Inever had courage for it, and was driven, I think, 
by a cruel instinct, into the company of strangers, &c. 

Come and find me as affectionate, and unreserved, and 
d(»nestic, as you knew me in our more careless days. 1 
think I shall be able to comfort you, and revive in you 
some little interest in life, though I cannot undertake to 
restore that happiness which, I am afraid, when once cut 


down, revises not in this world. If I knew when yoa 
would arrive, I think I should like to meet you in London, 
that is, if it be from March to May. I shall probably be 
there at any rate. Do not negleot to let me know before 
you set out. 

I work at the Beview still, and might make it a source 
of considerable emolument, if I set any value on money. 
But I am as rich as I want to be, and should be distressed 
with more, at least if I were to work more for it. 

55.— -iTo Francia SomeTj Esq. 

Edinburgh, 10th September, 1808. 

My dear Horner — ^We Scotch lawyers are much happier 
m vacation time than you in England; inasmuch as your 
letter, written from Taunton on the circuit, came to me at 
Arroquhar, in Argyleshire, where I was enjoying an ease, 
and a solitude, and a carelessness, of which you followers 
of assizes, I suppose, must soon lose all recollection. I 
thank you heartily, however, for that letter; and, being 
^ow returned to a region of posts and stationery, I endea- 
vour to bring my hand into acquaintance with p^imanship 
again by saying something to you in return. 

I have almost forgotten my review of f'ox; but I am 
extremely glad if it has given you any satisfaction. I 
remember the sentence for which you triumph over me, 
and actually put it in, in that f^m, for the purpose of 
giving yon that triumph. But I am not at all converted. 
I merely used the language of die oceasioa^. As to the 
style of Mr. Fox's book, I suppoee I have disappointed 
you. I do not think there are any felicities in it. It is 
often unequivocally bad, and when it is best,.t&ere is little 
more to be said than that it is nothing partieularly objec* 
tionable. The History of the Revolution, you see, is r^ 
served by fate for youy &c. 

* Brougham has been in Edinburgh for some time ; but 
has been but rarely visible on this horkon. I expect 


Smith hourly. Murray is rasticating, after his own fantas- 
tical manner, at Burntisland. Playfair is oscillating all 
round Edinburgh; and the incorrigible Thomson, still let- 
ting his watch-tower light be seen in Castle Street, to the 
corruption of the whole vicinage, &c. — Ever most affec- 
tionately yours. 

56.— To Mr. MalthuB. 

2l8t April, 1809. 

My dear Sir — I have just read your review of Newen* 
ham. It is admirable; and to my taste and feelings beau- 
tiful and irresistible. I feel a great degree of pride in 
saying that the manly and temperate tone of your patriot- 
ism — the plain and enlightened benevolence of your views 
— as far removed from faction and caprice, as from servility 
or affectation — are more consonant to my own sentiments 
and impressions than any thing I have yet met with in the 
writings of my contributors. 1 honour, and almost envy, 
you for the dignity and force of your sentiments, and feel 
new pleasure in the thought of being soon permitted to see 
you. I think I shall set out from this on Sunday in th^ 
mail; and expect to be with you some time early on Wed- 
nesday. I must be in London, I fear, on Thursday even- 
ing, but We shall see. — ^Believe me ever, dear sir, your 
very faithful and obliged. 

67. — To John AUeUy Eiq. 

Edinburgh, 22d December, 1809. 
My dear Allen — Unless you knew the horrors of drudg- 
ing in two courts in this plasby weather, you can form no 
conception of the misery in which I have lived since I 
wrote you last, or of the difficulty I find in catching an 
hour to write to anybody. Your Laborde is admirable, 
not only for its unexampled accuracy and clearness, which 
are .invaluable graces in such a Review as ours, but also for 
the neatness and liveliness of the writing, which is greater^ 
I think, than in any of your former contributions, &c. 


I see tlie Quarterl j announced, with Canning's Statement 
as its leading article. This is keeping clear of politics 
with a vengeance! Smith wrote me offering to take that 
subject. I rather dissuaded him, but if they make anj 
push I think I should let him try his hand. Some of you 
on the spot should tell him the personalities and the current 

Welly what is to become of us? I am for a furious un- 
sparing attack ; taking Walcheren and the Catholics up 
without reserye or equivocation, and going boldly against 
the king and all his favourites. To do this with effect 
something must be yielded to the democratic party. In- 
deed, if the Whigs do not make some sort of a coalition 
with the Democrats, they are nobody, and the nation is 
ruined, internally as well as from without. There are but 
two parties in the nation — ^the Tories, who are almost for 
tyranny, and the Democrats, who are almost for rebellion. 
The Wliigs stand powerles? and unpopular between them, 
and must side with, and infuse their spirit into, one or 
other of them before they can do the least good. Now, 
the Tories will not coalesce with them, and the Democrats 
will; and, therefore, it is the duty of the Whigs to take 
advantage of this, and to strengthen themselves by the 
alliance of those who will otherwise overwhelm both them 
and their antagonists. Such are my notions; and, more* 
over, that unless you make a sincere, direct, and even des- 
perate assault tolerably early in this session, there is no 
hope for the country. Illuminate me with a ray of your 
intelligence. — ^Most faithfully yours. 

58.-^0 John AUenj Esq. 

Edinburgh, 4tli Maj, I8IO: 

My dear Allen — 

I am very glad to hear that the Whigs are going to do 
something for popularity as well as for consistency. My 


own opinion certainly is, that nothing can eare them or the 
oonntry, but their becoming verj popular in their prin- 
ciples, to the full extent of Whitbread's speeches in Parlia* 
ment. Ton all clamour against my reyiew of parties,* and 
yet, does not all that is doing in London, Westminster, and 
Middlesex, prove that I am right ? Is it not visible that 
the great body of the people there is either servile or demo- 
cratical ? and I really see no reason for refusing to take 
them as a sample of the general population. I know that 
I stated the dangers of the thing coming to a crisis too 
strongly, and I knew it at the time ; but what I meant, and 
what I still believe is, that if any crisis ever come — ^if th6 
present misen^ble system is ever to be corrected by the 
sense and spirit of the nation — that the nation would then 
appear under these two divisions. Any great calamity 
would bring on this crisis. If your trade were effectually 
stopped, and your taxes prodigiously deficient, or if there 
were a French army in Ireland, you would see this split 
take place, and the Whigs thrown out and distracted. 
What is the new Cabinet to be ? and how do the judicious 
look forward to the end of the session ? 

1 think a reform in the Scotch counties would be opposed 
furiously by all the pupils of Lord Melville, but it would 
be carried in spite of them if the English Tories would tole* 
rate it. I have no doubt that good will be done by try- 
ing it. — Ever very faithfully yours. 

Brown is elected joint Professor with D. Stewart. 

59. — To Francis Horner^ JSsq. 

Edinburgh, 20th July, 1810. 

My dear Horner — I must grow considerably more wick- 
ed even than I am, before I can feel any thing but grati- 
tude for your advices. Even if I were not instructed by 
their justness, I should at least be delighted by the proof 

*No. 80, art. 16. 


they afforded of your kindness. We are growing too fac-> 
tioiifl ; — I admit it ; and it mortifies me as much as any 
one to think that we are. But yon judge rightly of my 
limited power, and of the overgrown privileges of some of 
my sabjeets: I am bnt a feudal monarch at best, and my 
tiifrone is overahadowed by the presumptuous crests of my 
nobles. However, I issue laudable edicts, inculcating mode* 
ration and candour, and hope in time to do some little good. 
A certain spice of aristocracy in my own nature withholds 
me from the common expedient of strengthening myself by 
a closer union with the lower orders ; but I would give a 
great deal for a few cipeftains of a milder and more disci* 
plined character. Thank you, a thousand times, for your 
ready compliance with my request, and your kind promise 
of continuing to illumine the public through our pages, in 
spite of all the violence with which they are defaced. I can 
give you till the 10th or 12th of August to transmit your 
first contribution. Make it as full, and long, and popular 
as you can ; and give us an outline of your whole doctrine, 
rattier than a full exposition and vindication of its question- 
' able and disputed points, which may come after. That is, 
I should like that arrangement beat, if it be equally suit- 
able to your own views. 

I should be ashamed to think that I now scarcely ever 
write to you except on those subjects, if I wrote to any- 
body upon any other* But though I feel the same interest 
in my friends, and rather more affection for them than 
formerly, I have become infinitely more impatient of the 
tediousness of writing, and have reduced my once bound- 
less correspondence very nearly within the dimensions of 
a banker's notice. It is for this reason chiefly that I am so 
anxious to see you, when I will engage both to talk and to 
listen with all the freedom and earnestness of former days. 
I like your plan of a congress in Yorkshire, and shall note 
down your periods, and try to make my own resolutions 
conform to them. But why will you not come down here. 


when I should be sore of seeing you ? I am well enough in 
health again, but very indolent and inefficient in intellect ; 
and for this week past have found a slight headache, or the 
noise of hammering up shelves, a sufficient apology for run- 
ning out of the house, and spending my whole mornings in 
the open air. Do write me a friendly letter now and then ; 
and, greatly as I abhor writing, I promise to answer it, 
both speedily and at full length. 

Have you seen Stewart's volume, and what do you think 
of it ? I find it rather languid from its great diffusiveness, 
and want of doctrinal precision. The tone excellent, and 
the taste on the whole good. But this excessive length is 
the sin of all modern writers. Shall we never again see 
any thing like Hume's Essays ? I thank you for liking 
Crabbe, though the wretch has monstrous faults. I hope 
he will give us a tragic poem some day. I have overpraised 
him a little ; but I think I am safe as to consistency; and 
I think I have marked the distinction between him and 
Wordsworth in my account of his former work. 

What do you say to reform? I think you go too far 
about privilege. Though I do not deny its existence, I 
think there would be no great harm in obliging jovi to 
prove, in a court of law, that what we complained of did 
in every instance fall under the proper conception of privi- 
l^g®9>s established by a sufficient usage, in good times, or 
a clear or indisputable analogy. However, I am mainly 
ignorant on the subject, and have the misfortune of not 
seeing the application of one-half of what has been written 
about it. Playfair is in Ireland, — Stewart at Kinniel, — 
Seymour on the Clyde, — ^Murray in Peebleshire, and 
Thomson in the Register House. I must be immediately 
in the printing-office, and anticipate three weeks of great 
discomfort. — Believe me ever, very faithfully yours. 


60. — To Franeia Homer. 

Edinburgli, 25th January, 1811. 

• My dear Horner— I am very nngrateful for not having 
answered your kind letter before, but I have been so ha- 
rassed with law and want of sleep, that I have never had 
a minute when I could sit down with a «afe conscience and 
composed spirit to thank you, &c. 

Yes — some good will be done by turning out the present 
ministry, if it were only for a day. But are they to go 
out ? or is there any truth in the Courier's stories of the 
dissensions of the opposite body ? Our Whigs here, are in 
great exultation, and had a fourth more at Foze's dinner 
yesterday than ever attended before. There was Sir H. 
Moncrieff sitting between two papists; — and Catholic 
emancipation drank with great applause; and the lamb 
lying down with the wolf — and all millennial. Stewart"*" 
came from the country on purpose to attend, and all was 
decorous and exemplary, &;c. I think I shall come to 
town in April. If the Whigs be in. power, it will be worth 
while for the rarity of the spectacle ; like the aloe blossom- 
ing, a few days, once in a hundred years, &c. 

There is nothing new here. The meek, who inherit the 
earth, pass their time very quietly in the midst of all these 
perturbations, and I among them. I am a good deal with 
Playfieiir and Alison, — and teach them philanthropy and 
latitudinarian indulgence. Playfair is quite well this sea- 
son, and not quite so great a flirt as he was last year. 
Stewart comes in sometimes^ and has become quite robus- 
tious;— jogs on horseback two hours every day in all 
weather, and superintends transcribing as a serious busi- 
ness all the evening. He is an excellent person ; without 
temper, or a sufficiently steady and undisturbable estima- 
tion of himself. And then he is an idle dog ; — almost as 

* Professor Dogald. 
Vol. n.—10 


great %fain6ant as me or Cocky Manners.* Yon will call 
all this blasphemy ; but it is very true, and I love him all 
the better for believing it. Murray is in great preserva- 
tion — a little top bnstlifig and anxious for my epicurean 
god state ; but in fine temper, and not at all low, nor so 
absent as usu^l. Thomson a thought biUoi^ ; and alto- 
gether discreet and amiable. 

I have written a long sermon about reform* Jt is some- 
thing in the tone of my state of parties article, which you 
all abused, — ^and which I consequently think the best oi 
all my articles, and the justest political speculation that 
has appeared in our immortal joumahf It is nothing but 
eheer envy that makes any of you think otherwise. How- 
ever, this will not be do assailable. — ^Ever, very affection- 
ately yours. 

61.^70 CharhB BeUy Mq. 

Ediflburgh, Mh April, 1611. 
My dear Bell — ^Not many things in this world could give 
me greater pleasure than the affectionftte tone of your let- 
ter, and the pleasing picture it holds out to me. You are 
doing exactly what you should do ; and if my approbation 
is at all necessary to your happiness, you may be in ecstasy. 
I think all men who are eapable of rational happiness ought 
to marry. I think you in particular likely to derive 
happiness from marrying; and I think the woman you 
have chosen peculiarly calculated to make you happy. 
God bless you. You have behaved hitherto with admira- 
ble steadiness and magnanunity, and have earned the con- 
fidence of all your friends, as well as the means pf enjoy- 
ment. I cannot lament your nationality very bitterly, 
both because it holds of all that is happy and amiable, and 
because I hope it will give ys a chance of seeing you ofteh 
among us. Besides, when you have Scottish tones and 

* A bookseller in Edinburgh. f No. 80, art. 16. 


smiles perpetnally before you, London will become % sort 
of Scotland to yon. Yon have but two faults in your 
character, |md I think marriage will go a great way to 
core them both. One is a little too much ambition, which 
really is not conducive to happiness ; and the other, which 
urises, I belieye, from the former, is a small degree of 
misanthropy, particularly toward persons of your own 
profession. Your wife's sweetness of temper will gradually 
bring you into better humour with the whole worjd, and 
your experience of the incomparable superiority of quiet 
and domestic enjoyments to all the paltry troubles that 
are called splendour and distinction, will set to rights any 
other little errors th&t may now exist in your opinions. 
At all events, you will be delivered from the persecution 
of my admonitions, as it would be a piece of unpardonable 
presumption to lecture a man who has a wife to lecture him 
at home. 

62.— To Mn. Mbrehead. 

London, Sunday 12th, May, 1811. 
My dear Marjory — ^This is now my last day in London, 
and burning hot it is. Even the east wind, I think, would 
be delightfully refreshing ; and, though I have been court- 
ing the air in the shady walks of the park, I feel the heat 
of the hotel quite suffocating. . I wrote yesterday to 
John, and brought my journal up to that forenoon, and 
-now I proceed. Drove out before dinner with Mrs. Figon 
•to Kensington — a most lovely afternoon — ^horse-chestnuts 
in magnificent bloom — the grass so fresh and velvet green 
afber the rains, and the water so cool and blue. We 
shopped under a May-bush in full blossom, and filled the 
carriage nearly full of it. Came home rather too late for 
dinner, and went to Nugent's, (a brother of Lord N., and 
« great traveller,) where we had an assemblage of wits and 
fine gentlemen — our old friends Ward, and Smith, and 
Brougham, and Mills, who threatened last year to be Chan- 


cellor of the Exchequer, and Brummell, the most oomplete 
fine gentleman in all London, and Luttrell, and one or two 
more. T^e repast was exceedingly vdaptuous^ The talhy 
on the whole, good. I had a long, quiet chat with Ward, who 
is, after all, I think, the cleverest and most original man in 
this pretending society. About eleven, I went to the opera 
with Smith, who left me, in the most perfidious manner, in 
the princess's box, out of which I found it impossible to 
escape for nearly a whole hour ; during all which, no one 
individual looked in upon her deserted royalty. It was 

really a pitiable spectacle to see her and poor Lady 

reflecting each other's ennui from the two (Corners of their 
superb canopy, struggling for a laugh in the middle of a 
yawn, and sinking under the weight of their lonely dig- 
nity. I went to see Mrs. Spencer, who was nearly as 
lonely, and got home (after the usual scene of squeezing) 
about one. To-day, Dicky Bright not having come as he 
promised, I went up to bresikfast with my friend Mr. 
Simond, and took him to see Lord Elgin's, marbles. I 
afterward called on Brougham and Kennedy, and re- 
cruited myself with a walk in the park. I am now about 
to dress to go to Holland House, where I hear there is to 
be a great party. To-morrow my travelling companions 
breakfast here, and we set off about eleven. I shall finish 
this epistle either in the morning or on the road. In the 
mean time, heaven bless you. 

Monday morning ^ three o'clock, — ^Well, my London cam- 
paign is closed at last, thank heaven I and I cannot go to 
bed till I render you this last account Mrs. Figon 
offered to set me down at Holland House in her carriage ; 
so we went through the park about seven, in the most 
beautiful, but sultry, evening— calm, blue, and silver water, 
noble trees, fragrant shrubs, and clouds, and mavises of 
blossom-^the whole air, as you go up to Holland Park, is 
perfumed with briers, May lilies, and a thousand fragrant 
shrubs. Inside, the assembly Was great. The old Duke 


of Norfolk, almost as big and as fond of wine afi Lord 
Newton,"^ but with the air and tone and conversation of an 
old baron bidding defiance to his BoVereign. Lords Say 
and Sele, Harrington, Besborough, Gowper, Dundas, &;c.^ 
with Dudley North, a wit and patriot of the old Fox school, 
breaking out, every now and then, into little bursts of 
natural humour. Ladies Besborough, Cowper, Caroline 
Lamb, &c. A most magnificent repast, and Lady Holland 
in great gentleness and softness; sat between D. North 
and the duke, and had a good deal of talk with both. In 
the drawing-room, had much conversation with Lady C. 
Lamb, who is supposed to be more witty and eccentric 
than any lady in London, but it did not appear to me very 
charming. Was brought home by Lord Dundas about 
twelve, and went by appointment to the Pigons, where we 
bad a very quiet and really very pleasipg evening till this 
moment. Nobody but Smith, who is quieter than usual, 
and Miss — : — , who is always gentle and elegant. It is 
high midsummer heat, and exquisitely lovely, a soft green 
moon, and a soft bllish of kindling dawn, and still, but bright 
pure air, and a sort of vernal fragrance which makes itself 
be felt even in London, as you pass through the squares 
and past the gardens of the quieter houses. Well, I have 
aU my packing to do yet. EenQedy wishes to get his let- 
ters before setting off to-morrow, so we ahall not be in 
motion till i^ear twelve. Good night. God bless you. I 
hope the delicious weather has reached to you, and driven 
aTfay those cruel headaches. I shall add a word or two 
in the morning. 

JIatonj sixty miles from London^ Monday night — Here 
I am, my dear Marjory, really and truly on toy way home, 
and feeling as if just awakened from the feverish and be- 
wildering dream of London. We did not get away till 
twelve, and have come on delightfully in a smooth-running 

* A Scotch judge. 

10* H 


chariot with a large dick j. Burning hot day, indeed ; but 
a breathing and fragrant air, and everj thing to fr^sh and 
green, and beautiful, that the thoughts of the brick and 
noise we have left almost make me shudder. I have 
brought this letter on, thinking it would go as soon by this 
night's mail ; and now I find that it is doubtful whether 
it will go till to-morrow. Bu it is no matter. — ^Ever yours 
most affectionately. 

63.-^0 Mrs. Morehead. 

Stirling, Friday night, 7th September, 1811. 

My dear Marjory — The most beautiful day, and the 
most beautiful place that ever was ; but I am afraid I shall 
hav^ too much of it, for I suspect now that I must stay till 
Monday. My own- trial will go, I think,. to-morrow; but 
there is a poor wretch indicted for Monday who relied upon 
some man coming here for him, who has nbt come; and he 
is so miserable about his destitution, that I have engaged 
to stay for him, if his own faithless counsel should not ap- 
pear. — ^Ever affectionately yours. 

64t.'^To Francis Homery Esq. 

Edinlt)turgh, 5th Januury, 1813. 

My dear Homer — I have heard an obscure rumour that 
you had spoken favourably to somebody of my review of 
Leckie ; which I am much afraid would appear tedious to 
all persons who are past their A B G in such matters. 
However, you know I always profess to write for babes and 
sucklings, and take no merit but for making things level to 

the meanest capacities. When I saw you at , I 

think you said you were growing more in charity with that 
meritorious sort of prosing; and indeed all philanthropic 
persons who commerce a little largely in the world, and 
find how many of all ages have still their whole education 
to begin upon every thing where right opinions are of any 
importance, will daily feel more indulgence for the slow 


and pertievering methods which persons still more philan- 
thropic must use for the i^struction of these unfortunate 
infants. It is to this feeling, I take it for granted, I am 
indebted for your gobd opinion. For there is a good part 
of that article which I thought in considerable danger of 
being attacked and ridiculed, as a caricature of our Scotch 
manner of running every thing up to elements, and ex- 
plaining all sorts of occurrences by a theoretical history of 
society. The last twelve or fifteen pages have a little more 
spirit, &c. 

But now, my dear Homer, if you are in tolerable hu- 
mour with the Review, will you let me remind you again 
of a kind of promise you made to supply me with a few notes 
about Windham, and especially with a theoretical history 
of the cause and progress of his political opinions. I had 
hopes that in this interlunation of your parliamentary 
course you might have found leisure to have done this, and 
perhaps a little more for me, &c. 

Tell me some news — and some new books, if you hear 
of any ; and at any rate write me a long letter in the style 
of your earlier days. And tell me that you have got rid 
of your coughs and maladies — and will take a walk in the 
Highlands with me next autumn. — Ever very aflFectionately 

65. — To Lord Murray. 

Liverpool, 20th Augasty 1813. 

My dear Murray;— I reported progress to Thomson some 
days ago, and expected before this time to have indited a 
valedictory epistle to you ; but at present the chance is, I 
think, that I shall come back and spend the winter, and 
probably much longer, among you. The short of it is, 
that government has expressly intimated to one of the two 
cartels now here that they will not allow either British or 
Americans to embark for the United States, till they re- 
ceive a satisfactory explanation of the detention of certain 
British subjects in that country, &c. 


Bat God's will be done. I endeavour to possess my sotd 
in patience, and shall await the issue of this movement, and 
of my own affictions, as tranquilly as possible. Oar rulers, 
with their usual vacillation, may relent and drawback from 
their threat, or some contrivance may be fallea upon to 
enable me to elude it. 

I have been dining out every day for this last week with 
Unitarians, and Whigs, and Americans, and brokers, and 
bankers, and smalL fanciers of pictures and paints, and the 
Quaker aristocracy, and the. fashionable vulgar, of the 
place. But I do not liko Liverpool much better, and could 
not live here with any comfort. Indeed, I believe I could 
not live anywhere out of Scotland. All my recollections 
are Scottish, and consequently all my imaginations ; and 
though I thank God that I have as few fixed opinions as 
any man of my standing, yet all the elements out of which 
they are made have a certain national cast also. In short, 
I will not live anywhere else if I can help it ; nor die 
either; and all old Esky's* eloquence would have been 
thrown away in an attempt to persuade me that banishment 
furth the kingdom might be patiently endured. I take 
more to Roscoe, however ; he is thoroughly good-hearted, 
isind has a sincere, though foolish, concern for the country. 
I have also found out a Highland woman with much of the 
mountain accent, and sometimes get a little girl to talk to. 
But with all these resources, and the aid of the botanical 
garden, the time passes rather heavily, and I am in some 
danger of dying of ennui, with the apparent symptoms of 
extreme vivacity. Did you ever hear that most of the 
Quakers die of stupidity — actually and literally ? I was 
assured of the fact the other day by a very intelligeut phy- 
sician who practised twenty years among them, and informs 
1 , ■ ■ — _ — . ^ — J — \ 

* Lotd EskgroTO, a judge, who consoled a friend he was obliged to 
banish, by assuring him, that there really were places in the World, such 
as England for example, where a man, though out of Scotland, might 
Utq with some little comfort. 


me that few of the richer sort live to be fifty, but die of a 
sort of atrophy, their cold blood just stagnating by degrees 
among their flabby fat. They eat too much, he says, tajke 
little exercise, and, above all, have no nervous excitement. 
The affection is known in this part of the country by the 
name of the Quaker's diseasej and more than one-half of 
them go out so. I think this curious, though not worth 
coming to Liverpool to bear, or writing from Liverpool, &o. 
—•Ever most truly yours. 

66.-70 Robert Mbrehead. 

Liverpool, 28th August, 1818. 
My dear Bob — I think now that we shall embark to-mor- 
xow, and have to bid you heartily farewell. I hope to be 
back in December ; but you need not give me over for lost, 
although I should not appear quite so soon. I have ex- 
plained to Margaret the grounds upon which I look upon 
the hazard of detention as extremely slight in any case, and 
have nothing more to add ou that subject, of which I take 
a more correct view than any of the talkers or newspaper 
politicians, who may be pleased to have another opinion. I 
am almost ashamed of the degree of sorrow I feel at leaving 
all the early and long-prized objects of my affection ; and 
though I am persuaded I do right in the step which I am 
taking, I cannot help wishing that it had not been quite so 
wide and laborious a one. You cannot think how beautiful 
Hatton appears at this moment in my imagination, nor 
with what strong emotion I fancy I hear Tuckey* telling 
a story on my knee, and see Margaret poring upon her 
French before me. It is in your family that my taste for 
domestic society and domestic enjoyments has been nur- 
tured and preserved. Such a child as Tuckey I shall never 
see again in this world. Heaven bless her ; and she will 
be a blessing both to her mother and to you. 

* A nickname for one of Mr. Morehead's daughters. Margaret 


But I must proceed to budiness. In this' packet yon 
will find my picture, which you will present, with my best 
love and affection, to Margaret. I have sent my will to 
George Bell, with instructions to bring it to you, if the. 
time comes for using it. 

I have got your volume of poems, which I read very 
often, and shall make Miss Wilkes read. Poetry is a 
great source of delight, but not with a view to conse- 
quences. The greatest and most delighted poets cared 
least abotit its success. Homer and Shakspeare gave 
themselves no concern about who should praise or ridicule 
them; and the charm of the thing is gone, I think, as 
soon as the poet allows any visions of critics or posterity 
to come across him. He is then in very worldly com- 
pany, and is a very worldling himself, in so far as he 
feels any ianxiety about their proceedings. If I were you, 
however, I would live more with Tuckey, and be satisfied 
with my gardening and pruning — with my preaching — a 
good deal of walking, and comfortable talking. What 
more has life ? and how full of vexation are all ambitious 
fancies and perplexing pursuits! Well, God bless you! 
Perhaps I shall not have an opportunity to inculcate my 
innpcent epicurism upon you for a long time again. It 
will do you no harm. The weather is fine, and, they say, 
is like to continue so through this moon. I think Marga- 
ret should get somebody to be with her during a part, at 
least, of the autumn. She has been so long accustomed 
fo our chat, and even to my writing, that when there is a 
pause, I am afraid she may grow dull upon it. You must 
cheer her, and not let her dwell on alarms, even wl^n you 
may faticy that there are some grounds for them. * I am 
glad you like liiy W. Penn. I have an affection for that 
kind of man myself; but there can be no such person in 
the present age. If you have a mind to try your hand at 
a review, it would be obliging ;; but, perhaps, this is* coming 


too much into the worldly contest and weary struggle, for 
your views. 

Do not let Tuckey forget me, and breed up Lockhart'*' 
to admire me. Billf I often remember too with great 
kindness, and also Charles — the young parson'sf meek 
and cheerful visage I duly recall with blessings. 

You must do duty by visiting round about Hatton in 
my absence, to keep up the character of the place, and 
the sense of our existence. — Remember me kindly, and 
believe me always, my dear Bob, yours very affectionately. 

67.-^0 Mr. MalthuB. 

Edinburgh, 12tli May, 1814. 

My dear Malthus — I am quite ashamed to think that I 
have never written to you since my return to this country, 
although I found a kind letter from you, I think, actually 
waiting my arrival. But I have been so harassed with all 
kinds of arrears and engagements, &c. 

Will you be very angry if I tell you that it was none of 
those good feelings that forced me to write to you at pre- 
sent, but a mixture of regret and admiration which I have 
just experienced in reading your pamphlete on the corn 
trade ? Admiration for the clearness, soundness, and in- 
imitable candour of your observations, and regret that 
you did net let me put them into the Review. You know 
they would be read there by twice as many people as ever 
see pamphlets. And for your glory and credit it might 
have been as well known to all those that you care about, 
as if your name had been on the title. It cannot be 
helped now, however ; and I must just aggravate my ad- 
miration till it altogether drowns my regret. I trust, 
however, that you will not spoil me a review as well as 
tantalize me by having missed one so excellent. Horner 
had promised to give me some remarks on the subject, but 

« Another of Mr. Morehead*s children. f Two of his boys. 



I am half afraid your pamphlet will put him in despair. 
In my opinion, indeed, it leaves nothing to be added; 
though I must add, that you have the great advantage of 
being very much of my way of thinking on the subject. 
Homer is much more Smithish ; and I had written him a 
long letter to abate his confidence, when I had the felicity 
of finding all my lame arguments set on their legs, and 
my dark glimpses of reason brought into fuU day in your 

Write me a line or two in friendship, in spite of my ap- 
parently ungrateful conduct, from which I have suffered 
enough already ; and tell me something of Bonaparte too, 
and Alexander, and the future destiny of the world. — 
Most faithfully yours. 

68.-^0 CharUi Wilkes, Esq. 

JBdinburgh, 25th February, 1815. 

My dearest Friend — All well and prosperous enough, 
and some of us so busy, or at least so improvident, as 
scarcely to have time to say more ; and when I have 
added that we think of yoii hourly, and with love as warm 
and active as when we last vanished from your sight, what 
more is there ta say ? Let us see, &c. 

It would only be tantalizing you to tell you of new 
books, when I have no means of sending them to you ; 
and, indeed, there are but few worth telling you about. 
Dugald Stewart has a new volume of philosophy, very dull 
and dry; Scott a new poem, not good; and Southey an- 
other, less faulty than any of his former productions. 
Then we have Waverley, which I think admirable ; and 
another by the same author, (who still wears his mask,) not 
quite so powerful, but still a very extraordinary perform- 
ance. The title is Guy Mannering. There is also a little 
poem called the Paradise of Coquettes, more Fopian than 
any thing since the time of Pope; but fade a little for 
want of matteri and by too great length. Author still 


trnknown also. In a month's time I hope we may be able 
to send you all these things, and some more. This peace 
lingers long in her descent, however; and more blood, I am 
afraid, mast be shed, on the earth before she reaches it« 
You are too desponding as to the future prospects of Ame- 
rica. She will breed an aristocracy by*and-by, and then 
you will get rid of all your vulgar miseries. Only take 
care that jou do not cast off your love of liberty along 
with them. As we are still at war, however, I abstain from 
all such speculations. I have said nearly what I think in 
my article on that subject in last number of the Review, 
though too shortly on the great point to be intelligible to 
those who do not think with-me before. You guess a little 
better at my articUs in these last numbers, though you are 
not quite right yet ; but I cannot set you right to-night, 
for Charlotte has got your letter locked up^ and she has 
been in bed this hour, and I forget now what are your 
blunders. In the last number for December I do a great 
deal, though not very well— Wordsworth, the Scottish 
poets, Waverley, and America, besides vamping and 

I have had an extraordinary fit of professional zeal all 
this term, and have attended to little but law; so I am 
behindhand again with my Review, and sick at heart of it. 
But I cannot afford to quit yet, and must scribble on — 
begging, borrowing, and coining. We are getting jury 
trial in certain civil cases too, and that will give me more 
work. For you must know I am a great juryman in the, 
few cases that are now tried in that way, and got a man 
off last week for murdering his wife, to the great indignation 
of the court, and discontent of all good people. Adam, 
the Prince's Adam, whom you may perhaps have heard of, 
comes down to teach us how to manage civil juries. He 
is a Baron of our Exchequer already, for which he has 
^2000, and is to have as much more for presiding in this 
court. He is a yery sensible man, and good humoured, 

Vol. IL— 11 


but knows almost as little of juries as we do ; so we shall 
make fine work for a while, I imagine ; but jon care as 
little about this as I do about your paper dollars: and you 
are quite right. I do not know why I talk of it, &c. 

John is well, but deplorably idle, and like all idle people, 
more difficult to entertain than those who are busy. Much 
as I patronize idleness, and firmly as I still believe that it 
would bring no ennui to myself, I daily see the prodigious 
advantage which a regular occupation brings in this capital 
article of amusement. Every little interval of leisure, and 
almost every sort of frivolous thought yon can fill it with, 
is a delight to a man who has escaped from hard work ; 
while those who have nothing to do but to amuse them- 
selves, find no delight in any thing. For this reason I 
doubt whether your American young ladies, who have not 
half so many tasks and restraints put upon them as young 
ladies everywhere else have, are altogether so happy on 
the whole ; and I think I have seen more visible marks of 
ennui in the misses just entered on their teens, who are 
allowed so prematurely to pass their whole mornings in 
parading in Broadway, than I ever saw in so young faces 
before. When I write my threatened book upon female 
education, I must rank that of your free country among 
the most injudicious. Charlotte writes to her mother. 
Remember me most kindly to her and to all. I have still 
a romantic hankering after your bay and Jersey woods, 
and cannot forgive myself now for not having gone up 
your Hudson. I must absolutely go back, I find, and re- 
pair those omissions. I remember you promised to give 
me a piece of land with trees and wild streams, and I fancy 
I shall come over and be buried there. I told you in my 
last how angry I was at hearing of the Philadelphia pub- 
lication of my journal. I never showed a scrap of it to 
any one there, and there is nothing in it, as yoU know, of 
personal ridicule, either of Monroe or any of the other 
ministers. I beg you would contradict it in my name. 


As soon as there is peace I shall write to Monroe myself to 
thank him for his kindness to me, and I should not like 
that he should have believed me capable of such duplicity 
and ingratitude. Is it true that Walsh is turned democrat ? 
Do not forget to tell him that I never believed the paltry 
gossips about his ill usage of his wife's feimily. You know 
I quarrelled with Mrs. S. on the subject at Philadelphia; 
and now God bless you. I am very sleepy, and shall go 
and dream of the Park and Bloomingdale, and your gliding 
sails, and blue waters, and poplars, and pet greenhouses.-^- 
Ever most affectionately yours. 

69. — To Frirnds Homer, H^q. 

Edinburgh, 12th Maroh, 1816. 

My dear Homer — 

You need make no apology for your principles to me. 
I have Qever for an instant considered them as other than 
just and noble. As an old friend and countryman, I am 
proud of their purity and elevation, and should have no 
higher ambition, if I were at all in public life, than to 
share and enforce them. I say this with reference to your 
attachment to party, your regard to character, and your 
candour and indulgence to those of whom you have to 
complain. Situated, as I am, at a distance from all active 
politics, the two first strike me as less important, and I 
give way to* my political and constitutional carelessness 
without any self-reproach. If I were in your place, it is 
probable I should feel differently, but these are none of 
the matters on which I should ever think of quarrelling 
with your principles of judgment. 

Neither will I deny that the Revieiir might have been 
more firmly conducted, and greater circumspection used to 
avoid excesses of all sorts. Only the anxiety of such a 
duty would have been very oppressive to me, and I have 
ever been slow to believe the matter of so much importance 


as to impose it absolutely upon me. I have not, however, 
keen altogether without some feelings of duty on the sub- 
ject ; and it is as to the limits and exteilt of these that I 
am inclined to differ with you. Perhaps it would have 
been better to have kept more to general views. But in 
such times as we have lived in, it was impossible not to mix 
diem, as in fact they mix themselves, with questions which 
might be considered as of a narrower and more factious 
' description. In substance it appeared to me that my only 
absolute duty as to political discussion was, to forward the 
great ends of liberty, and to exclude nothing but what had 
a tendency to promote servile, sordid, and corrupt princi- 
ples. As to the means ^f attaining these ends, I thought * 
that considerable latitude should be indulged, and that un- 
less the excesses were very great and revolting, every maa 
of talent should be allowed to take his own way of recom- 
mending them. In this way it always appeared to me that 
a considerable diversity was quite compatible with all the 
consistency that should be required in a work of this de* 
scription, and that doctrines might very well be maintained 
in the same number which were quite irreconcilable with 
each other, except in their common tendency to repress 
servility, and diffuse a general spirit of independence in 
the body of the people. This happens, I take it, in every 
considerable combination of persons for one general end ; 
and in every debate on a large and momentous question, I 
fancy that views are taken and principles laid down by 
those who concur in the same vote, which bear in opposite 
directions, and are brought from the most adverse points 
of doctrine. Yet all these persons co-operate easily enough, 
and no one is ever held to be responsible for all the topics 
and premises which may be insisted on by his neighbours. 
To come, ibr instance, to the tbpic of attacks on the per- 
son of the sovereign. Many people, and I profess myself 
to be one, may think such a proceeding at variance with 
the dictates of good taste, of dangerous example, and re- 


pQ^ant to good feelingB ; imd therefore tbey will not them- 
selves have recourse to. it* Yet it would be difficult, I 
think, to deny that it is, or may be, a lawful weapon to be 
employed in the great and eternal contest between the court 
and the country. Can there be any doubt that the personal 
influence and personal character of the sovereign is an 
element, and a }»retty important element, in the practical 
constitution of the government, and always forms part of 
the strength or weakness of the administration he employs? 
In the abstract, therefore, I cannot think that attempts to 
weaken that influence, to abate a dangerous popularity, or 
even to excite odium toward a corrupt and servile ministry, 
by making the prince, on whose favour they depend, gene- 
rally contemptible or hateful, are absolutely to be inter- 
dicted or protested against. Excesses no doubt may be 
committed. But the system of attacking abuses of power, 
by attacking the person who instigates or carries them 
through by general popularity or personal influence, is law- 
ful enough, I think, and may form a large scheme of Whig 
opposition, — ^not the best or the noblest part certainly, but 
one not without its use, — and that may on some occasions 
be altogether indispensable. It does not appear to me, 
therefore, that the degree of sanction that may be given 
to such attacks, by merely writing in the same journal 
where they occasionally appear, is to be considered as a 
sin against conscience or the constitution, or would be so 

I say all this, however, only to justify my own laxity on 
these points, and certainly with no hope of persuading you 
to imitate it With regard to the passages in last number, 
which you consider as a direct attack on the Whig party, 
I must sfliy that it certainly did not strike me in that light 
when I first read it ; nor can I yet persuade myself that 
this is its true and rational interpretation. I took it, I 
confess, as an attack, — not upon any regular party or con- 

necti<m in the State, — but upon those individuals, either in 



party or out of it, to wlrose personal qualities it seemed 
directly to refer, — ^men such as have at all times existed, 
who, with honourable and patriotic setitiments, and firm- 
ness enough to resist direct corruption and intimidation, 
yet wanted vigour to withstand the softer pleas of civility 
or friendship, and allowed their public duties to be post- 
poned, rather than give offence or pain to individuals with 
whom they were connected. This I really conceive is the 
natural and obvious application of the words that are em- 
ployed, and I am persuaded they will appear to the gene- 
ral view of readers to have no deeper meaning. Certainly 
they suggested no other to me ; and if they had, I -would 
undovibtedly have prevented their publication ; for I should 
look upon such an attack as that as a violation of that 
fidelity to the cause of liberty to which I think we are sub- 
stantially pledged. 

I wish I had ten minutes' talk with you instead of all this 
scribble, &c. — Believe me always very affectionately ^ours. 

70.— To Charles WilkeSy Esq. 

Craigcrook, 7th May,^ 1815. 

My dear Friend — ^We are trying to live at this place for 
a few days, just to find out what scenes are pleasant, and 
what holes the wind blows through. I must go back to 
town in two or three days for two months, but in July we 
hope to return^ and finish our observations in the course 
of the autumn. It will be all scramble and experiment 
this season, for my new buildings will not be habitable till 
next year, and the rubbish which they occasion will be 
increased by endless pulling down of walls, levelling and 
planting of shrubs^ &c. Charley wishes me to send you n 
descrq)tion of the place, but it will be much shorter and 
more satisfactory to send you a drawing of itj which I 
shall get some of my artist friends to make out. In the 
mean time, try to conceive an old narrow high house, 
eighteen feet wide and fifty long, with irregular projec- 


tions of all sorts ; three little staircases, turrets, and a large 
round tower at one end ; on the whole exhibiting a ground 

plan like this M. 

n o.Q 

with multitudes of windows 

of all shapes and sizes, placed at the bottom of a green 
slope ending in a steep woody hill/ which rises to the height 
of 300 or 400 feet on the west, and shaded with some re- 
spectable trees near the door, — with an old garden (or 
rather two, one within the other) stuck close on one side 
of the house, and surrounded with massive and aged stone 
walls fifteen feet high. The inner garden I mean to lay 
down chiefly in smooth grass, with clustered shrubs and 
ornamental trees beyond, to mask the wall, and I am busy 
in widening the approaches and substituting sunk fences 
for the high stone walls on the lawn. My chief operation 
however, consists in an additional building, which X have 
marked out with double lines on the elegant plan above, in 
which I shall have one excellent and very pleasant room 
of more than twenty-eight feet in length by eighteen in 
breadth, with a laundry and store-room below, and two 
pretty bed-chambers above. The windows of these rooms 
are the only ones in the whole house which will look to the 
hill and that sequestered and solemn view, which is the 
chief charm of the spot. The largest, Charlotte and I 
have agreed to baptize by your name, and little Charley is 
to be taught to call it grandpapa's roomf as soon as she 
speak. So you must come and take possession of it soon, 
or the poor child will get superstitious notions of you as 
an invisible being. In the mean time, the. walls are only 
ten feet high, and C. and I sleep in a little dark room, 
not twelve feet square, in the tower ; and I have contracted 
for all my additional building to be built solidly of stone 
for about 4*50, and expert to execute most of my other 
improvements, among which a new roof to the old house 
is the weightiest, for about as much more. I have a lease 


for twenty years of near fifteen acres for £32 a year, for 
which lease, howcTer, I paid X1200, and I can get it pro- 
longed to thirty years on reasonable terms. I get this 
year near <£60 for my fields, which I mean to keep fwr 
ever in grass. And now you know all about my establish- 
ment here that you can easily know without coming to see 
it, and all you deserve to know unless you will come. I 
have an excellent gardener for £A5 a year, who engages 
to do all my work himself, with the help of two labourers 
for a week or two in spring ; but I fear he could not 
undertake a greenhouse without neglecting his grass and 
gravel. I need not tell you that Charlotte is well, because 
she is writing to you herself, nor that baby is delicious, for 
I daresay she tells you nothing else. I think she will be 
very happy here, and it will be less a banishment to people 
without a carriage than Hatton, for she has already made 
the experiment of walking into Edinburgh and back again 
without any fatigue. The distance is not more than two 
miles and a half, &c. — ^Ever most affectionately yoi;rs. 

71. — To Francis Horner ^ JEsq. 

Edinburgh, 0th June, 1816. 

My dear Horner — 

Here I lie, 

Shot by a sky- • 

Rocket in the eye.* 

This is literally true, except that I am not dead, nor 
quite blind. But I have been nearly so for the last week, 
or I could not have neglected your very kind letter so long. 
I am a sad wretch of a correspondent, however, even when 
I have my eyesight, and deserve your kindness in no way, 
but by valuing and returning it. 

I am mortally afraid of the war, and I think that is all 
I can say about it. I hate Bonaparte too, because he 

* He had been struck, and alarmingly, by a roeket, near the eye, on 
the 4th of June. 


Inakes me more afraid than anybody else, and seems more 
immediately the cause of my paying income-tax, and having 
mj friends killed with dysenteries and gun-shot wounds, 
and making my^eountry Unpopular, bragging, and servile, 
and every thing that I do not wish it to be. I do think, 
too, that the risk was, and is, far more imminent and tre* 
mendous, of the subversion of all national independence, 
and all peaceful virtues, and mild and generous habits, by 
his insolent triumph, than by the success of the most absurd 
of those who are allied against him. Men will not be ripe 
for a reasonable or liberal government on this side of the 
millennium* But though old abuses are likely to be some- 
what tempered by the mild measures of wealthy communi-' 
ties, and the diffusion of something like intelligence and 
education among the lower orders, I really cannot bring 
myself, therefore, to despise and abuse the Bourbons,) and 
Alexander, and Francis, with the energy which you do. 
They are absurd, shallow, and hollow persons, I daresay. 
But they are not very atrocious, and never will have the 
power to do half so much mischief as their opponent. I pre- 
fer, upon the whole, a set of tyrants, if it must be so, that 
we can laugh at, and would rather mii contempt with my 
political dislike, than admiration or terror. You admire 
greatness much more than I do, and have a far more ex- 
tensive taste for the sublime in character. So I could be 
in my heart for taking a hit at Bonaparte in public or in 
private, whenever I thought I had him at an advantage ; 
and would even shuffle a little on •the score of morality and 
national rights, if I could insure success in my enterprise. 
But I am dreadfully afraid, and do not differ from you in 
seeing little but disorder on either side of the picture. On 
the whole, however, my wishes must go to the opposite 
side from yours, I believe ; and that chiefly from my caring 
more about the present, compared with the future. I really 
cannot console myself for the certainty of being vexed and 
anxious, and the chance of being very unhappy all my 


life, by the belief that some fifty or a hundred years after 
I am dead, there will be somewhat less of folly or wretched- 
ness among the bigots of Spain, or the boors of Russia* 
One reads and thinks so much of past ages, and extends 
the scale of our combinations so far beyond the rational 
measure of our actual interest in events, that it is difficult 
not to give way now and then to that illusion. But I laugh 
at myself ten times a day for yielding to it ; and have no 
doubt that when my days come 4;o a close, I shall find it 
but a poor consolation for the sum of actual suffering I 
have come through. 

I know you think all this damnable heresy. But I can- 
not see things in any other light when I look calmly upon 
them ; and I really fancy I am a very calm observer, &c. ' 

For God's sake get me a reviewer who, can write a taking 
style. Suggest some good topics and ideas to me, and 
believe me always, most affectionately yours. 

12.— To John Allen^ Esq. 

Edinburgh, 13th Febrnaary, 1816. 

My dear Allen — ^I am extremely obliged to you fbr your 
letter, and wish you had made it twice as long. I am sorry' 
though that you will not do Sismondi, and cannot well 
admit your apology, as I am almost certain that he will 
ultimately fall into the hands of somebody who does not 
know so much of the matter as you do. There is some- 
thing delightful in the perfect candour with which you 
speak of your own prepossessions on the subject of French 
politics ; and there has always been so much temperance 
and true philanthropy in all your speculations, that I most 
gladly trust you with that as any other subject, did I not 
conceive it to be already engaged, &c. 

The article on reform I should be extremely gratified 
by your doing. J engage the subject to you, and am sure 
that both we and our readers will be delighted by the obaz^ 
of hand. The new condition of English society, both by 


the great of taxes and establishments, the general 
difihsion of information, accompanied bj an apparent sus- 
pension or extinction of all sorts of political enthusiasm) 
and the new character and tone, whether accidental or 
natural, tibiat has been assumed of late years by ministers 
and by Parliament, alla.fford topics of interesting and pro** 
fomid speculation. Upon which I am satisfied you could 
easily give us many vieWs of the highest importance. Pray, 
do that good service to us and the country, and tell me 
that I shall have your manuscript very early in March. 

I thank you for your remarks on my French article. 
I darei^ay it is wrong to name the Duke of Orleans so 
plainly; but I own I felt a desire to set the example of 
speaking quite freely and plainly of foreign politics. 
Since we were obliged to be a little cautious to our own, 
it would be a miserable and degrading thing if, after all 
the ingratitude and selfishness of foreign courts, English* 
men should be dragooned into the necessity of << hinting 
faults, and hesitating dislike," where any of our allies are 
concerned; and one great risk, of this formidable alliance 
is, to give a pretext for such slavishness. For this reason 
I rejoice extremely at the plain terms in which Brougham 
and Tierney hare spoken of Ferdinand in the House, and 
I hope the spirit will be kept up. We are enough abused 
already to entitle us to speak with perfect freedom of 
other nations at home. Do write me soon, and believe 
ine always most faithfully yours. 

73.— To Charles Wilkes^ Usq. 

Craigcrook, September^ 1816. 

I am in the middle of a review at this moment, and,- as 
usual, in great perplexity and huge indignation at the 
perfidy of my associates. Playfair is in Italy, and so is 
Brougham. My excellent Horner is here^I am sorry to 
say, in a very distressing state of health. I fear it will 
be necessary for him to spend the winter abroad^ and that 


is always a fearful necessity for an English constitution^. 
I do not know another individual so much to be lamented, 
on public and on private grounds. He is one of those I 
should have been most proud to have shown you ; one of 
those which your world has not yet produced, and for the 
sake of whom we must always look upon that world with 
some degree of dislike and disdain. I wish I could think 
that yott could but see him. But there is no help. I 
have no politics to lecture you upon. The king, you see, 
has at last dissolved his chamber of ultras ; and, late as it 
is^ it is the wisest thing he has done since his accession. 
If he is serious, and can get people to believe that he is, 
and can continue to live a little longer, things may go 
tolerably yet; but I have no serious hope of French 
liberty, and sl^all be satisfied if they do not go mad and 
bite their neighbours as they did before. You know, I 
suppose, that Simond has become an ultra, and goes about 
saying that, as the two parties can never coalesce, the one 
must put down the other by force, and that the French 
like to be ruled by force, and that the safest party to 
trust with that power is the Royalist. This, I think, is 
the sum of his present creed; and he answers all sorts of 
arguments by repeating it over and over, without the least 
variation, as devoutly as a monk. I assure you it is quite 
diverting to hear him. His old indifferency was more 
respectable ; but if this amuses him more, he is right to 
indulge it. How have peace and war left your parties ? 
Are your democrats stiU in the ascendant, or have they 
reached their meridian and beginning to decline ? They 
will do so if you have patience and let them alone, &c. 
God bless you. — Most affectionately yours. 

74.— 2V John AUerij Esq. 

Edinburgh, 20th December, 1816. 
My dear Allen — As to parliamentary reform and the 
progress of our constitution, my opinions are already on 


record ; and yon can judge whether I am too vain in say- 
ing that I think they coincide more exactly with yours 
than with those of any other person with whom I have 
communicated. Thinking them, therefore, not only true, 
but of considerable importance, you cannot doubt that I 
must be extremely gratified to have them supported by 
the clear and temperate reasoning, and the overpowering 
weight of accurate knowledge, with which you could adorn 
them. As to Bonaparte, I have never hated him much, 
since he has lost his power to do mischief. I suppose 
I hated him before, chiefly because I feared him, and 
thought he might do me a mischief. But I never believed 
that a creature upon whom so much depended could be an 
ordinary man. I was struck at the first reading with the 
fairness of Warden's book, though it is a little shallow, 
scanty, and inconsistent; but I am disposed to treat a 
fallen sovereign with all sort of courtesy, and certainly to 
insult him less than when in the plenitude of his power. 
I like to think well of the few people one must think 
about, and shoidd really feel obliged to any one who could 
make me admire or love this singular being a little more 
than I can even yet bring myself to do. His magnanimity 
and equanimity,— his talents and courage, and even his 
self-command, I am not inclined to question. But he had 
a hearty I think, of ice and adamant; and I own I cannot 
bear to think that those who knew and loved Foz should 
have any tenderness toward him. I cannot agree that 
he had anr/ princely virtues, low as these are in the scale 
of ethics. He was a chief much more in the style of 
Frederick than of Henri IV. ; and I must hate all the 
tribe. But I hate still more the poor sycophants who 
would deny him what he is entitled to,, and should be 
proud myself to do him noble justice in opposition to their 
servile clamours. You will oblige me infinitely by under- 
taking this, either along with, or instead of, your other 
theme, &c. 
Vol. n.--13 


I thinl I won't be up before Febroarj. Praj make 
m7 peace with Lady Holland, and tell her I am coming 
round to her sentiments, — slowly and cautiously indeed, 
like a man who consults his conscience, but surely and 
steadily ,-^-and that I think we shall, make a pilgrimage to 
St. Bfelena together.— 'Ever most truly yours. 

15.— To Charlea WUhes, U»q., New York. 

London, 17th February, 1817. 

My dear Friend — Charlotte's indefatigable and dutiful 
pen has, I dareE(ay, already informed you of iny having 
been now three weeks away from her in this profligate 

I live chiefly with the opposition ; but our party feelings 
do not interfere so mufeh with our private friendships as 
in some other countries, and least of all, I think, in Lon- 
don, and with persons at the head of their parties. When 
I was last in town, I dined one day at Lord Aberdeen's, 
where a Frenchman was excessively astonished to see Lord 
Holland and the Lord President of the Council come to 
the door in the same hackney coach. I am not sure 
whether the baseness of the vehicle or the strange assort-^ 
ment of the cargo amazed him the most ; and I suspect an 
American would have wondered very nearly as much. I 
saw a good deal of Frere, and a little of Canning ; neither 
of whom appeared to me very agreeable, though certainly 
witty and well bred. There is a little pedantry, and some- 
thing of the conceited manner of a first^form boy, about 
both. Among the young Whigs I think Lord Morpeth 
the most distinguished, and likely to rise highest. With 
great ambition, he unites singular correctness of judgment, 
and a modesty of manner which, in spite of a command* 
ing presence, and all the noble airs of the Howards and 
Cavendishes, I have no doubt would be set down for awk- 
wardness by a beau of New York. I met Burdett once or 
twice, who is very mild and agreeable in private society ; 


but, though he was then coquetting with the j I saw 

enough to be quite certain that he never will be tractable 
or serviceable for any thing but mischief. Tierne j is now 
the most weighty speaker in the House of Commons, and 
speaks admirably for that House. Brougham is the most 
powerful, active, and formidable. Canning is thought to 
be falling off, and certainly has the worst of it, in all their 

As to plots and rebellions, I confess I am exceedingly 
skeptical. There is no doubt a very general feeling of dis- 
content, and something which, without judicious watching 
and restraint, might lead to local riots and disorders, and 
occasion the shedding of some foolish blood; but lam per- 
suaded that it is not inq)atience of oppression, but want^ that 
is at the bottom of it ; and that if they had good employment 
again, they would soon cease to talk ci reform. ' It is very 
right to take even excessive precaution, but I cannot bring 
myself to believe that it was necessary to suspend the con- 
stitution in order to keep the peace. Indeed, the general 
feeling seems now to be so much against these violent 
measures, that I should look with confidence for their 
abolition in July, were it not so difiScult to get houses at 
that season, that in general the ministers may do what they 
please. The greatest calamity which the country has suf- 
fered is in the loss of my admirable friend Homer. He 
died about six weeks ago at Pisa. I never looked for any 
other catastrophe ; but the accounts which bad come home 
very recently before had excited great hopes in many of 
his friends. I have not known any death in my time 
which has occasioned so deep and so general a regret, nor 
any instance in which thisre has been so warm and so ho- 
nourable a testimony from men of all parties to the merits 
of a private individual. Pray read the account of what 
passed in the House on moving a new writ for his borough, 
and confess that we are nobler, more fair, and generous in 
our political hostility, than any nation ever was before. 


It is really quite impossible to estimate the loss which the 
cause of liberal and practical opinions has sustained by this 
death. That of Fox himself was less critical or alarming ; 
for there is no other person with such a uniou of talent and 
character to succeed him. I for my part have lost the 
kindest friend, and the most exalted model, that ever any 
one had the happiness of possessing. This blow has quite 
saddened all the little circle in which he was head, and of 
which he has ever been the pride and the ornament ; but 
it is too painful to say more on such a subject, &c 

By the way, I wanted to let you understand a little 
more of my doctrine as to the bad effects of indulgence, 
which I think you somewhat misapprehend ; but I have n't 
time at present, and perhaps I may take occasion to set 
down half a page in the Review on that subject. In the 
mean time, I think you must see at once that those who 
hate never been accustomed to submit to privations or in- 
conveniences, will find it more difficult to do so when it 
becomes a duty, than those to whom such sacrifices have 
been familiar. Young people who have bedn habitually 
gratified in all their desires will not only indulge in more 
capricious desires, but will infallibly tiJce it more amiss 
when the feelings or happiness of others require that they 
should be thwarted, than those who have been practically 
trained to the habit of subduing and restraining them, and, 
consequently, will in general sacrifice the happiness of others 
to their own selfish indulgence. To what else is the self- 
ishness of princes and other great people to be attributed? 
It is in V|iin to think of cultivating principles of generosity 
and beneficence by mere exhortation and reasoning. No- 
thing but the practical habit of overcoming our own selfish- 
ness, and of familiarly encountering privations and dis- 
comfort on account of others, will ever enable us to do it 
when it is required. And tl^erefore 1 am firmly persuaded 
that inivlgenGe infallibly produces selfishness and hard- 
ness of heart, and that nothing but a pretty severe disci- 


pline and control can lay the foundation of a firm and 
magnanimous charaotery &o. 

Give my best love to all your family and to Eliza. I 
shall write often to you during the vacation, as I expect to 
be mostly at home, and to live a quiet domestic life. We 
shall go to Graigcrook in ten days if the weather be good. 
It is bright now, but rather cold. God bless you ever, my 
dear friend. — ^Most affectionately yours. 

.76.-^0 John AUeUy Esq. 

Edinburgh, 14th March, 1817. 
My dear Allen — I could not write to you with any com- 
fort during the hurry of the session ; indeed, after the sad 
news of poor Horner's death, I had not the heart to ad- 
dress any thing to you, either upon that or upon indifferent 
subjects.' On the former, there is nothing new to be said. 
Strangers have already said all that even friends could 
de8ire,-r-and it seems enough to be one of the public to 
feel the full weight of this calamity. What took place in 
Parliament seems tome extremely honourable to the body ; 
nor do I believe that there is, or ever was, a great divided 
political assembly where so generous and just a testimony 
could have been borne unanimously to personal merit, 
joined, especially as it was in that individual, with a stern 
and unaccommodating disdain of all sorts of baseness or 
falsehood. It is also another national trait, not less ho- 
nourable, I think, to all parties, that so great a part of 
the eulogium of a public man, and in a public assembly, 
should have been made to rest on his domestic virtues and 
private affections. His parents bear this great calamity 
far better than I thought they would. Even the first 
shock was less overwhelming than might have been appre- 
hended ; and now they are sensibly soothed and occupied 
with the condolences of his numerous friends. I wish 
some memorial of such a life could be collected. In par- 
ticular, I think many of his letters would be valuable. 



But knowing how mnoh our present feelinga are 13celj to 
mislead us on such occasions, I am satisfied that nothing 
of a pnblic nature should be thought of for a considerable 
time. It has occurred to me that a short notice and cha- 
racter might be inserted in the Supplement to the Ency* 
clopsedia when it reaches his name. This will not be, I 
believe, for a year or fifteen months yet, so that there will 
be time enough to conpder of it The history of such a 
progress I really think would be a most instructive reading 
for the many aspiring young men into whose hands that 
publication is likely to come. 

Now, let me say one word to you about reviewing, &c. — 
Very faithfuDy yours. 

77. — To John Alletij Usq. 

Edinbnrgii, 27ih Marck, 1817. 

My dear Allen — It is very kind of you to undertake a 
review for me on any terms, and it would be most ungrate- 
ful in me to urge you much as to time. Will three weeks 
from this date do for you ? By that time, I hope to be 
far on with the printing, but to be a week or a fortnight 
more if you require it. I foresee I shall be interrupted 
myself with those unhappy state trials,'" and am likely 
enough to be the latest of the whole. Pray be as popular 
as you can, consistently with being rational ; and be most 
angry at the knaves, and compassionate of the fools. One 
argument you will naturally consider at large. I mean 
the favourite one of Southey and the rest, that the power 
of the people has increased, is increasing, and ought to be 
diminished, and that the little addition made to the influ- 
ence of the crown by the war and taxes is but a slight 
counterbalance to that increase. Now, the great fallacy 
here is, that the increase of weight on the side of the 
people consists chiefly in an increase of intelligence, spirit, 

* The trials of Bdgar, Mackinlay, &c. at Bdinburgli. 


and adiivity, and the mere wealth and influence of a selfish 
kind can never be either safely or properly set against this 
sort of power and authority. In fact, it does fiot require 
to be counterbalanced at all; for it leads, not to the eleyi^ 
tion of the commons merely, but to the general improve- 
ment ; and is obnoxious, not in any degree to the fair 
strength and dignity of the crown, but only to its corrup- 
tion and abuses; and, instead of being neutralized by 
giving more means of abuse and corruption to the crown, 
it is exasperated and strengthened by it. The natural 
result of such an increase of popular power is to give more 
direct efficiency to their agency in the government ; and 
the only way to prevent this change in the state of society 
* from producing disorder is, to make more room for the 
people in the constitution, not to swell out the bloated bulk 
of the crown. I have said something to this purpose in 
the close of a long article on reform, X think on occasion 
of Windham's speech ; but it now deserves to be brought 
more into view. 

I shall be very proud of being thought worthy of draw- 
ing up a short view of Homer's career for the Encyclo- 
paedia. Wishaw will do the longer work with perfect 
judgment and good taste ; but I own I should have wished 
the task in the hands of one who dealt in a little warmer 
colouring, and was not quite so severe an artist. — Ever 
most truly yours. 

Is it not univer%c^y thought among English lawyers 
that the proceedings in Muir's and Palmer's cases were 
against law and justice ? I am afraid we shall have them 
referred to now as precedents of weight and binding au- 

78. — To John Miohardiorij Usq. 

Craigcrook, 24th July, 1817. 
My dear R. — I wish you joy of the end of the session, 
in which I too am rejoicing in my provincial way. Cock- 


burn says you do not intend to come down to us this year 
— ^which, I think, is yidous, and therefore I hope not true. 
We hare your old room for you here, and a new study in 
progress, to the embellishment of which you may immor* 
talize yourself by contributing. I have also a whole wil- 
derness of roses, and my shrubs are now so tall as not to 
be easily seen over. Moreover, my whole lawn is green 

with potatoes, and the wood is going down this 

autumn. If all this will not tempt you, I do not know 
what we shall do. I have got twelve dozen of old claret 
in my old cellar, and am meditating upon an ice-house ; 
and I am going to buy a large lot of the old books at 
Herbertshire ; and my little girl speaks the nicest broad 
Stretch ; and we have as little finery and parade about us 
as in the old days of poor Jamie Grahame and the Hills. 
Do come and be jolly for a week or two. 

Tell me what Tommy Campbell is about; and what Old 
Bags says for himself, for not deciding our Queensberry 
case after all. I am glad to hear that Rutherfurd made 
a good speech. Pray tell me how it was. He. is a judi- 
cious, ambitious, painstaking fellow. His faults are the 
very opposite of Clerk's and the old school. I do not 
know if you are much acquainted with him in private. He 
is full of honour and right feelings. 

We have at length finally demolished the Lord- Advo- 
cate's state prosecution, you will see — and in a way really 
a little scandalous to the vanquished. I am afraid they 
will hear more of this hereafter; for I cannot find in my 
heart either to hate or to think very ill of them ; and I 
believe they will even do less mischief than more vigorous 
men might do. You see nothing will drive me out of my 
tolerating and moderate system of politics. Pray remem- 
ber us most kindly to Mrs. R..and the little ones. God 
bless you. — Most affectionately yours. 


79.— 2^0 Lr. Chalmers. 

Edinbnrgli, 26th July, 1817. 
Dear Sir — It is but lately that I knew of your return 
to your own place, and it is still more lately that I have 
been so far freed of my professional avocations as to have 
leisure for more agreeable duties. It is rather late, I am 
sensible, to thank you again for the very valuable and im- 
portant contribution you made to the last number of the 
Beview,''' and compliments upon its merits never' could 
have so poor a chance for acceptance as now, when you 
have just been collecting the tribute of far more weighty 
applause for still more splendid exertions. I come back, 
however, to my text, and as I believe I first tempted you 
to dip your pen in our ink by the prospect of doing an im- 
portant service to society, so I am not without hopes of 
inducing you to repeat your contributions by the same 
powerful consideration. What we have already published 
has excited great attention, and done, I am persuaded, 
much good; but those to whom the doctrines are new do 
not yet sufficiently understand them, and those who are 
hostile to them still fancy that they have objections that 
have not been answered. I am myself quite satisfied that 
an article on the same subject every quarter, or at least 
every six months, would be requisite to give fair play to 
the argument, and to render just views with regard to it 
familiar and fair in general conception. And also that 
by this means the great end might be pretty certainly 
attained in the course of two or three years. My opinion 
is, that it would be extremely desirable to have another 
article, defending, explaining, and carrying into practical 
illustration, the principles suggested in the former, inserted 
in the number of the Review Which I expect to put to 
press in about ten days, and to publish about the end of 

* No. 65, art. 1, on the Causes and Cure of Pauperism. 


August; and I yenture, xgider this impression, to ask 
whether you could possibly undertake this further labour 
in so good a cause. I am perfectly aware of the magni- 
iode of the request I now make, and therefore I make it 
plainly and at once — ^with an assurance that my motives 
for hazarding it will not be misunderstood, and that no- 
thing I could add in the form of solicitation would be 
likely to succeed if you can resist your own sense of their 

I shall probably be in Glasgoi^ early in the autumn, and 
shall be much mortified if I am again prevented from gra- 
tifying myself by a sight of you. Is there no chance of 
your being in this neighbourhood while this fine weather 
lasts? It would be extremely obliging in you to give me 
a little previous notice of your coming. 

In the mean time may I hope to hear from you? Be- 
lieve me always your obliged and very faithful servant. 

80.— 2^0 CharhB Wilkes^ Usq. 

Craigorook House, 9^ May, 1818. 
My dear Friend — ^I began my vacation by wKting you 
a long letter, and I shall end it in the same virtuous man- 
ner, for we move into town to-morrow, and my labours 
begin the day after. We have had some idleness and 
tranquillity here, and about seven fine days, but it has been 
a sad season on the whole, first with cold and then with 
wet ; and as I am laying down my twelve acres in grass, I 
have had my fair share of a young farmer's anxieties and 
mortifications. However, I bear all my trials manfully,and 
when I cannot . be quite resigned I try to make a joke of 
them. Neither Charley nor I understand much about rain 
or dirt, and we are both so fond of woodlands and moun<> 
taius that we have scarcely missed a day Without trudging 
out, and climbing away among mists and showers and 
craggy places, with scatcely a primrose to cheer us, and 
nothing but the loneliness and freshness of the scene to 


pat lu in good humour. It has long been m j opinion that 
thofle who have a genuine love for nature and rural 
scenery are very easily pleased, and that it is not easy to 
find any aspect of the sky or the earth from which they 
will not borrow delight. For my own part, condemned as 
I am to a great deal of town life, there is something deli- 
cions to me in the sound even of a biting east wind among 
my woods; and the sight of a clear spring bubbling from 
a rock, and the smell of the budding pines and the com* 
mon field daisies, and the cawing of my rooks, and the 
cooing of my cushats, are almost enough for me — so at 
least I think to-day, which is a kind of. parting day for 
them, and endears them all more than ever. Do not 
imagine, however, that we have nothing better, for we have 
now hyacinths, auriculas, and anemones, in great glory, 
besides sweetbrier, and wallflowers in abundance, and blue 
gentians and violets, and plenty of rose leaves, though no 
flowers yet, and apple-blossoms and sloes all around.. 

I have been enlarging my domain a little, chiefly by 
getting in a good slice of the wood on the hill, which was 
formerly my boundary. My field went square up to it be- 
fore in this way : — now I have thrown 
my fence back 100 yards into the wood, 
so as to hide it entirely, and to bring 
the wood down into the field ; and to do this gracefully, 
I am cutting deep scoops and bays into it, with the 
fence buried in the wood. It is a great mass of wood, 
you will remember, clothing all the upper part of a 
hill more than a mile long, and 300 feet high ; not very 
old nor fine wood — ^about forty years old, but well mixed 
of all kinds, and quite thick and spiry. If you do not 
understand this, you must come and see it, for my pen 
and pencil can no further go. 

Well,, but I must leave Craigcrook and this pastoral vein^ 
and condescend to tell you that Charley and the babe are 
both perfectly well, and so am I, &c. I am rather impa- 


tient to make a little money now, and often find myself 
calculating how soon, at my present rate of saving, I may 
venture to release myself from the drudgery of my profes- 
sion, &c. I am sufficiently aware that my gains are in 
some degree precarious, and, after all, though I please 
myself with views of retirement and leisure, and travelling 
and reading, I am by no means perfectly sure that I should 
be much happier in that state than my present one. 
Having long set my standard of human felicity at a very 
moderate pitch, and persuaded myself that men are can- 
iiderably lower than angels, I am not much given to dis* 
content, and am sufficiently sensible that many things that 
appear and are irksome and vexatious, are necessary to 
help life along. A little more sleep, and a little more time 
to travel and read, I certainly should like, and be bett^ 
for ; but, placed as I am, I must do the whole task that is 
appointed for xiie, or more. And there is some excitement 
and foolish vanity in doing a great deal, and coming off 
whole and hearty. God help us, it is a foolish little thing 
this human life at the best ; and it is half ridiculous and 
half pitiful to see what importance we ascribe to it, and to 
its little ornaments and distinctions, &c. 

We have not hjear^ very lately of the Simonds ; they 
were then at Rome, and talked of going to the Tyrol in 
spring and summer. I shall never be^ done lamenting his 
change of politics. General philanthropy, and a calm dis- 
trust and disdain of all actual administrations, was the only 
thing for him. He has not temper for a partisan, and 
ceases to be amiable in the heart, at the same time that he 
becomes a little ridiculous. I am in some hopes, however, 
that Italy may disgust him with restorations and legitimacy ; 
though I fear he has too much talent not to find apolo- 
gies for every thing. Perhaps I regret his departure from 
his original creed more, because with a little more tolera- 
tion for aotive politicians, and a little more faith in the u»e9 
of faction, it is very nearly my own. Our English politics 


are not very respectable. This last session of Parliament 
has been^ on the whole, huiliiriatihg and alarming to all 
who care about liberty. The Tejection of the Prince's Es- 
tablishment Act, though quite right in itself, is of little 
pomfort, and only shows that they are personally unpopu- 
lar, and that the nation will not give money to the govern- 
ment, though it will give every thing else. This reminds 
one of the base times of Henry VII., when the court could 
command all but the purse of the people. Our degraded 
state is owing partly^ no doubt, to the disunion of the 
Whigs, and their want of a leader, and to the policy of the 
government in choosing blackguards and Jacobins as its 
immediate victims; but the evil is far deeper, and the 
spirit of the nation pitiably broken. It is no matter. 

lO^A May^-^—l spent all the rest of yesterday, after 
writing these pages to you, in the open air with Charley 
alone. We expected some friends to finish our week with 
us, but luckily they did not come, and we passed the whole 
day and evening in delightful tranquillity. To-day it is as 
fine. The larches are lovely, and the sycamores in full 
flush of rich fresh foliage, — the air as soft as new milk, — 
and the sky so flecked with little pearly clouds, full of 
larks, that it is quite a misery to be obliged to wrangle in 
courts, and sit up half the night over dull papers. We 
shall come out here, however, every Saturday, so that I 
am at least as clamorous in my grief as there is any need 

Remember me most kindly to Fanny and Anne. I am 
a little mortified that they should think it a formidable 
thing to write to me, but perhaps they will have more cou* 
rage by-and-by. In the mean time I shall write again to 
them as soon as I have an instant's leisure. 

I am growing a si^d defaulter about the Review. Surely 
I did not say I wrote the Bentham. It is the work of a 
much greater person, whom I am not at liberty to name^ 
and not one-third of it is mine. Moore is not generally 

Vol. U.— 13 K 


thought overpraised ; an4 I have various letters from his 
friends, atttsing me for it as for a covered attack. He 
himself does not thiiik so, and has no reasOn. God bless 
you. Now, write soon to us. — From most affectionately 

81.— ^0 OharhB Wilkes, Usq. 

Tarbet, 6ldi August, 1818. 
My dear Friend — Here we are in a little inn on the banks 
of Loch Lomond, in the midst of the mists of the mountains, 
the lakes, heaths,^ rocks, and cascades which haVe been my 
passion since I was a boy; and to which, like a boy, I have 
run away the instant I could get my hands clear of law, and 
review, and Edinburgh. We have been here for four days, 
and Charlotte is at least as much enchanted with the life we 
live as I am ; ^nd yet it is not a life that most ladies with 
a spark of fineness in them would think Very delightful. 
They have no post-horses in the Highlands, and we sent 
away those t^at brought us here, with orders to come back 
for us to-morrow, and so we are left without a servant, 
entirely at the mercy of the natives. The first day we 
walked about ten mil^s over Wet heath and slippery rocks, 
and sailed five or six o^ the lake in a steamboat, which 
surprised us as we were sitting in a lonely wild little bay, 
sheltering ourselves from a summer shower under a hang- 
ing copse. It is a new experiment that for the temptation 
of tourists. It circumnavigates the whole lake every day 
in about ten hours ; and it was certainly very strange and 
striking to hear and see it hissing and roaring past the 
headlands of ouir little bay, foaming and spouting like an 
angry whale ; but, on the whole, I think it rather vulgar- 
izes the scene too much, and I am glad that it is found not 
to answer, and is to be dropped next year. Well then, the 
day after, we lounged about an. hour or jbwo in the morn- 
ing, then skimmed across the lake in a little skiff, and 
took to climbing up the hill in good earnest. This, I 


assure you, is no fine lady's work. It is 3400 fe^t high, 
with an ascent of near five miles, very rough, wet, and 
rocky in many places ; and Charley had fine slipping, and 
Btumhling, and puffing, before she got to the top. How- 
ever, by the help of the guide's whisky and my own, she 
got through very safe and proud at last. For more than 
2000 feet the air was quite clear, but a thick fog rested 
on the top, and but for the glory of the thing, we might 
have stopped where it began. The prospect, however, 
became Very grand and singular before it was quitd 
swallowed up. The whole landscape %ook a strange silvery 
skyish tint, from the thin vale of vapour in which it began 
to sink ; and some distant mountains, on which the sun 
continued to shine, assumed the most delicate and tender 
green colour you ever saw, while the water of the lake, 
with all its islands, seemed lifted up to the level of the 
eye, and the whole scene to be wavering in the skies, like 
what is described of the fata morgana in Sicily. We all 
fell twenty time& in our descent, and were completely 
besmeared with mud, which was partly washed away by a 
fine milky showier which fell upon us as we again crossed 
over in our boat. The day after, we walked good twelve 
miles before dinner, up to the wildest and least frequented 
end of the lake, making varjous detours, and discovering 
at every turn the most enchanting views and recesses. In 
the evening we rowed down the smooth glassy margin of 
the water to a gentleman's house a mile or two off, and 
walked home in the twilight. I will not fatigue you by 
telling you what we have done to-day, but it is nearly as 
great ; and the beauty of it is, that we are perfectly well, 
and quite delighted with our perseverance ; so much so, 
indeed, that G. declares she will come back earlier ne^tt 
year, and stay twice as long, there being fifty valleys and 
little lakes that she has marked out for exploring, and 
which we have not been able to reach. I assure you, you 
are no loser by these excursions, for neither of us evet see 


any thing very charming hut we resolve to hring you to see 
it ; and I, with true Scottish partiality, am always itna- 
gining that you will not admite our beauties enough, and 
considering with what persuasions or reproaches I shall 
convert you, &c. 

Glasgow, 1th. — ^We got back here yesterday, safe and 
sound, and had the happiness, among other things, to find 
your kind letter of the 9th July, &c. 

You see I am sending all my treasure to you, and of 
course my heart will be there too ; and I really think my 
body will one day follow. If I can go on as I am now 
doing for eight or nine years more, I think I may emanci- 
pate mydelf from the necessity either of working or residing 
always in this place ; and if I were free to move, I rather 
think that, after a hasty glance at Italy, I should be 
tempted to take another and far more leisurely survey 
of America. You, of course, would be my main attrac- 
tion ; but I cannot help taking a very warm and eager in- 
terest in the fortunes of your people. There is nothing, 
and never was any thing, so grand and so promising as the 
condition and prospects of your country [ and nothing I 
conceive more certain than that in seventy years after this 
its condition will be by far the most important element in 
the history of Europe. It is very provoking that we can^ 
not live to see it ; but it is very plain to me that the French 
revolution, or rather perhaps the continued operation of 
the causes which produced that revolution, has laid the 
foundations, over all Europe, of an inextinguishable and 
fatal struggle between popular rights and ancient esta- 
blishments — between democracy and tyranny — between 
legitimacy and representative government, which may in- 
volve the world in sanguinary conflicts for fifty years, and 
may also end, after all, in the establishment of a brutal 
and military despotism for a hundred more ; but must end, 
I think, in the triumph of reason over prejudice, and the 
infinite amelioration of all politics, and the elevation of all 


national chairacter« Now I cannot help thinking that the 
example of America, and the influence and power which 
she will every year be more and more able to exert, will 
have a most potent and incalculably beneficial effect, both 
in shortening this conflict, in rendering it lees sanguinary, 
and in insuring and accelerating its happy termination. I 
take it for granted that America, either as one or as many 
states, will always remain free, and consequently prosper- 
ous, and powerful. She will naturally take the side of 
liberty therefore in the great European contest — and while 
her growing power and means of compulsion will intimi- 
date its opponents, the example not only of the practica- 
bility, but of the eminent advantages, of a system of per- 
fect freedom, and a disdain and objuration of all prejudices, 
and — (illegible) — cannot fail to incline the great body of 
all intelligent communities to its voluntary adoption. 

These are my anticipations ; and is it not a pity that I 
have no chance of living tp see them verified ? However, 
they amuse one very well at present, and perhaps we may 
be indulged with a peep out of some other world, while 
they are in a course of fulfilment* One thing, however, 
is certain, that they, and some other considerations, give 
me the greatest possible interest in the prosperity, the 
honour, and the happiness of your part of the world. I 
am afraid that my habits, and the tastes in manners, litera- 
ture, and tone of discussion, while they have hardened, 
would prevent me from living so happily, on the whole, in 
America as in this old corrupted world of ours. Indeed, 
to say the truth, I do not think I could bear to live and 
die anywhere but in Scotland. But on public grounds I 
am as much concerned for America as for Scotland, and 
would rather live there than in any foreign or enslaved 
portion of the old world, however elegant or refined. There 
is a long dissertation for you ; but the end of it is, that in 
nine or ten years I shall come and stay a long while with 
you ; and the ireasonable result is, that as that is a great 



deal too long to wait for a meetings and a9 joa are dtill 
older than me, and can atill lees afford therefore to -wait^ 
you must shorten it by comii^g and staying a long while 
with ns in two or three years at the furthest. — Most af- 
fectionately yours, 

82.— ro Ohark^ WUkes, Esq. 

Glasgow, 5th May, 1819. 
My dear Friend — I always write you a long letter when 
I come here ; but I have a stronger reason than usual to- 
day, as we have just got your letters of the 9th April, with 
all their news and kindness. And first of all, we must 
congratulate Fanny,*— not certainly on having a lover, 
which I suppose has been h^r case for these ten years past, 
but on being in love, which is a very delightful novelty, 
and not a little agreeable when it ceases to be new, as I 
can say with some assurance, after having been in that 
state, with little interruption, for near thirty years. As 
to the youth, it is certainly very fortunate that his charac- 
ter and prospects are such as to please you ; and for the 
little dash of democracy, I confess I am rather glad of it, 
as I think your intolerance of those worthy citizens is the 
only illiberal thing about you, and am sure that, with your 
inherent fairness apd good-nature, nothing more can be 
necessary for you to get over it than to be brought into 
contact and amicable relation with some of the better speci- 
mens. Entre nouB^ however, the Life of Fulton is — bad 
as possible; and after reading it with a design of contra- 
dicting the Quarterly, if possible, I ended by agreeing with 
them. Give my kindest love to Fan. on this occasion, and 
tell her that if she has half as much genius for matrimony 
and domestic life as Charlotte, she may venture on it with 
great safety as soon as she pleases. I am not sure that 

this event betters oui' chance of seeing you here, at least 


* Mrs. Jeffrey's Bi«ter, afterward Mrs. Golden. 


unless jott come soon ; for tfaoagh you ma j be mor^ secure 
in having the giddiest of your charges safe under the con- 
trol of a hnsbandy and the rest nnderthat of so sage a matron, 
still, I am afraid, that when there comes to be a litter of 
American grandchilcken, (0 fie,^how indelicate !) the sqnalls 
of each of which you know in the dark, your poor little 
Scotch grand-daughter, whose sweet little Doric note you 
never heard in your life, will come to have less attraction, 
and one's whooping-cough and pother's measles will serve 
grandpapa for an excuse to be lazy and unnatural all the 
rest of his life. So I would advise you to break off before 
those new fetters are forged for you, and come away to us 
sober and married people while the other are too happy to 
miss you. 

We are all pretty well here,— ^all quite well indeed, except 
little Charley, &g. 

With all my good spirits, I am the most apprehensive 
and serious being alive ; so I diMresay I give more Import- 
ance to these things than they deserve. We shall write 
again in a week or ten 4ays, when I think she will be quite 
restored, &c. 

I have just got done with another Review. I have more 
vamping and patching than writing. That of Rogers's lit* 
tie poem and Campbell/s specimens are all I have written 
wholly; though there is more of my hand than there should 
be in the very long article on the abuse of charities. 

I am afraid I said something impertinent to you about 
that review of Byron. It has somie warmth and talent cer- 
tainly; but the taste is execrable, and there is an utter 
want of sense^ which is ruinous to any thing of the sort in 
European judgments. The mot in London on the occasion 
was, that it had lowered the authority of the Review at 
least twenty per cent, in all matter^) poetical. But I sup- 
pose you are not so sensitive at New York. I hope you 
have read Mackintosh's paper by this time. There is a 
great deal in it applicable to America, and what I think 


should attract notice among your politicians, if it is not too 
much above their pitch. I am sorry your congress has dis- 

gtaced itself by the decision on case. It has thrown 

you back twenty-five years at least in the estimation of 
European politicians, raised great doubt as to the expedien- 
cy of any republican government, and given great plausi- 
bility to the doctrine of those who refuse to recognise you 
as part of the great system of civilized government. A 
more audacious, ignorant, and hlachguard determination 
was never given by a legislative assembly. . Nobody has 
regretted it more than I have done. 

The Simonds, I take it, are now at Paris. Louis (Simond) 
%% an ultra^ — a verj honest one, I admit, and likely enough 
to give offence to his followers, but ultra enough to hate 
and persecute the adherents of a different sort of absolute 
monarch,^— a distruster of liberty, in short ; and, under pre- 
tence of hating faction and cabal, one who would put down 
all the movements of a free people, and substitute his own 
wisdom in place of the wishes of a nation. I really do not 
know one more arbitrary in his principles of government; 
and he thinks it a sufScient justification that the object is 
to do them good; which has been the object of some of the 
most intolerant tyrants that the world ever saw. Fortu- 
nately for himself and his country, he has no great chance 
of having power in it, and is likely enough to be disgusted 
with those who have. But I will hold an equal bet that he 
disapproves of the late proceedings of the ministry. In 
short, with the best intentions and feelings in the world, he 
is utterly unfit for practical politics, &c. — Most affection- 
ately yours. 

88.— ro Charle% Wilhes, Esq. 

Minto, 24tli August, 1819. 
My dear Friend — When I left Charlotte last week I 
promised to write you a long letter before my return, and 
though I am particularly lazy when I am from home, I have 


a pleasure in perferming my promise. I am on my way 
back from Brongham, &c. 

We are not in a good state in England, and I sometimes 
fear that tragical scenes may be before us. My notions of 
parliamentary reform are in the Review ; and I am per- 
fectly clear that it would have no effect at all in relieving 
even present distresses. Yet of late I cannot help doubt- 
ing whether 9ome reform has not become necessary— if it 
were only to conciliate and convince the people. If they 
are met only with menaces and violence we shall be drenched 
in blood, and the result will be a more arbitrary, and op- 
pressive, and despicable government — leading ultimately 
perhaps to a necessary and salutary, but sanguinary revo- 
lution. Our present radical evil is the excess of our pro- 
ductive power — the want of demand for our manufactures 
and industry; or, in other words, the excess of our popula- 
tion; and for this I am afraid there is no radical remedy 
but starving out the surplus, horrible as it is. For emigra- 
tion can do comparatively nothing ; and the excess of pro- 
duction arising, not from any temporary slackness of the 
natural demand, but from ther^improvement of machinery 
and skill, which has enabled one man to do the work of at 
least 100, and that all over the improved part of the world ; 
and consequently enabled all those who formerly found 
employment, to produce ten times as much as any possible 
increase of consumption can take off their hands, it is plain- 
ly impossible that it can be cured by any change in our 
commercial relations. It may seem a strange paradox to 
mention, but I am myself quite persuaded of its truth, that, 
in our artificial society, the consequence of those great dis- 
coveries and improvements which render human industry 
BO much more productive, and should therefore render all 
human comforts so much more attainable, must be to plunge 
the greater part of society into wretchedness, and ulti- 
mately to depopulate the countries where they prevail. 
Nothing but a thorough and levelling agrarian law, or the 


discovery of some means of increasing food in the same 
proportion as other commodities, can avoid this conse- 
quence. But we shall talk of this when w« meet. It is 
not worth while to write about it. 

84.— r^ Dr. Chalmers. 

Edinburgh, 21st Beoember, 1819. 

My dear Sir — I have read your pamphlet* with great 
pleasure and full assent. I cannot say on this occasion 
that you have made a convert of me, for my sentiments 
have always been in unison with those which you express^ 
both as. to the peculiar advantages of our system of paro- 
chial education, and as to the causes which have deprived 
our great towns of most of its benefits. The reasoning in 
the last six or seven pages of your pamphlet I take to be 
as sound and convincing as the eloquence with which it is 
expressed is admirable and touching. 
. The only thing to be doubted or questioned is, whether the 
evil has not got to too great a head to be now successfully 
combated. But zeal and talents like yours have already 
wrought greater works than this ; and it is extremely com- 
fortable to think that the efibrt is not only not intermina- 
ble, as you have well remarked, but that even its partial 
success will be attended with great benefits, and that every 
school established upon right principles will not only be a 
pattern and an incitement to others, but will at all events, 
and of itself, do a great deal of permanent good* 

If you should want any extra parochial aid, I shall 
gladly contribute toward what I consider as a very interest- 
ing experiment, and, indeed, shall at all times think myself 
both favoured and honoured by having my charity guided 
by any hints or suggestions of yours. 

With the sincer^st respect and affection, believe me 
always your obliged and faithful servant. 

* "Consideratioas on the System of Parochial Schools in Scotland.'* 


i^.— To John Allertf JEaq. 

22(1 February, 1821. 

My dear Allen — 

I have been rather busy, and rather dissipated, this 
•winter, and have rather neglected the Review ; but I must 
now begin to think of it again. Can you recommend any 
contributors to me, or any subjects to myself? I have some 
thoughts of coming up in March or April, though I have 
been ffo idle as scarcely to be entitled to such an indulgence. 
There is some idea of moving the Chancellor to take up 
the Queensbury appeals immediately, in "which case I 
should probably have a fair apology for my journey. 

I am very much ashamed of the Commons, and have but 
little. now to say against the radical reformers-; if any re- 
form is worth the risk of such an experiment. l?he practi- 
cal question upon which every man should now be making 
up his mind, is, whether he is for tyranny' or revolution ; 
and, upon the whole, I incline toward tyranny ; which, I , 
take it, will always be the wise choice for any individual, 
especially after his youth is over, however it may be for that 
abstraction called the country, which may very probably 
be much the better for twenty years' massacres and tumults 
among its inhabitants. The individual has another re- 
source, too, in emigration, or entire retreat from all politi- 
cal functions and concerns ; which would oft^n be very 
wise and agreeable, if it were not liable to the reproach of 
baseness and cowardice. I see nothing comfortable in the 
state of EuroJ)e, and think the great pacification will turn 
out the beginning of greater contention than those it seemed 
to have ended. Will mere poverty be abld to keep us out 
of them ? 

Remember me very kindly to Lord and Lady Holland, 
and write me a long letter soon. — Ever, yours. 


86.-70 CharUi Wilkes^ Esq., New York. 

London, 15th April, 1821. 

My dear Friend — 

We do not allow ourselves, however, to ^aturalize in 
London, and are beginning to be impatient for our deliver- 
ance and the close of our exile. We have had a racketing 
feverish life since we came here, with too little quiet and 
leisure for Charlotte, and almost too little for me. It is 
di£Scult, however, to resist, the civilities of distinguished 
people ; a,nd a strong persuasion that what is now rather 
fatiguing will amuse us in recollection, induces us to aban- 
don ourselves to the current, and give up our time t.o every 
call that is made on it, &c. 

I believe you do not know many of the people we have 
been living with here, so that it would be tedious to tell 
you about them. But though they are very kind, and 
many of them very clever, and almost all very fashionable 
and fine, I confess this new experiment has confirmed me 
in my dislike of a London life, and made me doubly thank- 
ful that my lot has been cast in a quieter scene. The 
constant distractions of politics, and the supreme import- 
ance which the business oithe two ffouses assumes in all 
the high society, is the least of my objections. It is the 
unmanageable extent of that society, the eternal hurry, 
the dissipation of thought, and good feeling, and almost 
of principle, which results from the wearisome and fruitless 
pursuit of an [torn] and that pitiful concern about what 
is distinguished for fashion and frivolous notoriety, which 
offends and disgusts a thinking, and even a social, man on 
his first approach to this great vortex of folly and misery. 
Charlotte participates in these feelings still more largely 
than I do, and from not having confidence or animal 
spirits so strong as mine, is immediately fatigued with 
what rather amuses me at the beginning, and has lately 


taken to sleep at home in the evenings, when I go forth to 
take my ohservations in tha haunts of dissipation, &c. 

You will expect me, of course, to say something of 
politics while I am here at the scene of intelligence, and 
living among leaders of parties ; hut I had never less in- 
clination, or indeed less to say. I think as ill as ever of 
the state and prospects of the country, feel less alarm, 
perhaps, as to speedy or immediate mischief, , but not at 
all less despondency as to the inevitable evils that surround 
ns» The agricultural classes, embracing the old aristo- 
cracy, are. falling, and must yet fall, into greater poverty 
and embarrassment ; and the wealth of the country centre 
more in the less valuable funds of the trading interest, 
who, upon ai^y alarm, are far more likely to rally round 
any government, however oppressive, and to recur to 
blind and short-sighted violence as a cure for disaffection. 
Thus the more unpopular, and deservedly unpopular, the 

government is^ the more zealously will it be by 

the iniquities of a legislature to which such is the passport; 
and the greater the risk will become of a contest between 
the equally fatal extremes of a discontented populace 
and an almost avowed tyranny. The only chance is in 
the fears of the latter. I do not myself believe that they 
— that is, the Tory party — ^will ever be unseated till over- 
thrown by a revolution. But there are indications that," to, 
avoid that extremity, they may tardily and imperfectly 
adopt of themselves some of those improvements against 
which they carry triumphant decisions when proposed by 
their antagonists ; and that in this way they may grant a 
variety of economical reforms, and even perhaps some 
political ones in a year or two later; and crippled with 
more restrictions than would have attended them in the 
hands of a Whig government. In this way the govern- 
ment may be gradually iioaproved without, any change of 
administration, and some salvation perhaps wrought for 
the principles of liberty, by the necessary diminution of 
Vol. VL.'-X^ 


influence which must follow the retrenchment of' expense. 
This, however, is the bright side of the picture ; and Iook"> 
ing to the fierce and mutual hostility of the populace, and 
the governments both at home and abroad, I confess I 
think the society of the old world is on the brink of a 
greater and more dreadful commotion than it has ever be- 
fore experienced. The catastrophe of Naples is sad and 
humiliating, but the spirit of disaffection and resistance is 

not to be , and, I very much fear, cannot long be 

repressed even in France, where I am firmly of opinion 
that it will produce the most nAschievous effects. 

We have had a sort of project of running over to Paris 
for a week, if detained here over the holidays, but I am 
afraid it is too daring and sudden for onr ladies,*— *at least 
we shall see, &c. — ^Believe me, very affectionately yours. 

87.-ryo Charles Wilkeiy JKjy., Ifew York. 

Edinburgh, 27th January, 1822. 

My dear Friend— ^I take Charley's* place this time as 
the writer of our monthly despatch ; not entirely, I am 
sorry to say, because I have either more leisure than 
usual, or more agreeable orimportant intelligence to com- 
municate, but because the said Charlotte is not well 
enough to write easily for herself, &c. 

I go on as usual; rather less business at the bar, and 

more notoriety and away from it. I have had two 

overtures to take a seat, in Parliament, but have given a 
peremptory refusal, from taste as well as prudence. I am 
not in the least ambitious, and feel no desire to enter upon 
public life in such a moment as the present, &c. 

I think the prospects of all the old world bad enough at 
this moment, both for peace! and ultimate freedom. The 
odds are that we have revolutionary wars all over the con- 
tinent again in less than two years, and our only cliance 

* Charlotte— Mrs. Jeffrey. 


of keeping out of them is our miserable poverty, and even 
on that I do not rely. But the worst is, that I am not at 
all sanguine as to the result, either immediate ormltimate, 
being in favour of liberty. It is always a duty to profess 
in public an entire reliance on the ultimate prevalence of 
reason and justice, because such doctrines help powerfully 
to realize themselves ; but in my heart I am far from 
being such an optimist ; and looking at the improved intel- 
ligence of despotic governments, and the facilities which 
the structure of society affords to the policy of keeping 
nations in awe by armies, I confess I do not think it un- 
likely that we shall go with our old tyrannies and corrup- 
tions for 4000 or 5000 years longer. When or how is 
the government of Bussia to be liberalized ? — -and if they 
unite and bind themselves with Prussia and England in a 
holy alliance to keep down what they call treason and re- 
bellion in other countries, what means of resistance can 
the people of such countries ever acquire? The true hope 
of the world is with you in America; in your example 
now — and in fifty years more, J hope, your influence arid 
actual power. And yet I am accused of being unjust to 
Americans. At home things are very bad. The king, 
out of humour with his ministers^ on grounds that do them 
no dishonour, has a rooted horror at all liberal opinions ; 
and the Duke of York, with more firmness and cold blood, 
is still more bigoted. The body of the people, again, are 
80 poor, and their prospects so dismal, that it is quite easy 
to stir them up to any insane project of reform ; and the 
dread of this makes timid people rally round those who 
are for keeping order by force, and neutralizes the sober 
influence of the Whigs. Our only chance is in the ex- 
tremity of our financial embarrassments, which will force 
such retrenchments on the ministry as at once to weaken 
their powers of corruption, and to lend dredit to those 
whose lessons they have so long contemned, and must now 
stoop to follow. I scarcely think Parliament will venture 


on a renewal of the property tax, bat I do not tldnk it im« 
possible tbat they may be driven to reduce the interest of 
the fand«, though that would raise a • great outcry, and 

Tell me about your children. What is Horace doing, 

and W ? I will write soon again to Fanny, It is a 

great delight to hear of the continued health and long 
youth of your old ladies. Pray remember me to, them 
most affectionately, &c, God bless you.-r— Very affection- 
ately yours. 

' %%.—To Ohwrkz WUkeSy JBsq. 

London, 18th April, 1822. 
My dear Friend — Here I am alone in this huge, heart- 
less place 'f and so alone and home-siclk that it is a great 
relief to be allowed to write to anybody who really cares 
for me. I am come again upon a great appeal case ; and 
Charlotte, who is in the middle of her gardening, and all 
day long tying up hyacinths, and propping carnations, 
like Eve in paradise, positively refused to come with me. 
Though we hurried up in three days, we have been three 
days here waiting for our case coming on, and are likely 
to wait as many days more, and it will last eight days 
hearing I have no doubt, and I shall scarcely get down 
for our term on the 12th of May, and not at all at Graig- 
crook agiin for any part of the vacation. By what I can 
see and hear, things are in no very good way, and scarcely 
even safe. Great discontent and great distrust, not merely 
of government, but of all public men, in the body of the 
people ; great intolerance ajnd obstinacy on the part of the 
ministers, and no very cordial union among the members 
of the parliamentary opposition. Last year, the success 
and industry of Hume made a sort of coalition between 
the thorough Beformers and the moderate constitutional 
Whigs ; but- they cannot stand two sessions of estimate, 
and are beginning to draw off from him, which not only 


weakens them every way, but still mpre materially strength- 
ens the ministry. There will be some little retrenchment, 
and, in that way, some small diminution of influence ; but 
the general poverty and extravagance of all the upper 
classes will make the remaining patronage go as far in the 
way of corruption as it used to do before it was diminished 
in more prosperous times. I rather think we are tending 
to a revolution, steadily, though slowly — so slowly, that it 
may not come for fifty years yet ; but capable of being 
accelerated by events that are not at all improbable. The 
most disgusting peculiarity of the present times is the 
brutal scurrility and personality of the party press, origi- 
nally encouraged by ministers, though I believe they would 
new gladly get rid of it; but, from their patronage and 
the general appetite for scandal, it has now become too 
lucrative a thing to be sacrificed to their hints, and goes 
on, and will go on, for the benefit and at the pleasure of 
the venal wretches who supply it. 

I have seen but few people yet since I came up, the 
holidays being just over, and the good company scarcely 
returned to town yet. ' I called, to-day, on Washington 
Irving and on Miss Edgeworth, but was not lucky enough 
to find either of them ; but we are sure of meeting, and I 
will write again to tell you what I think of them. I have 
been sitting or walking most of the morning with poet 
Campbell and with Mackintosh. 

I got out a nice number of the Review just before I left 
home, and directed an early copy to be forwarded to you. 
I am afraid you will think it heavy. I write nothing my- 
self but Lord Byron,* to whom I have at last administered 
a little cruel medicine, and a part of Demosthenes, not 
the translations. 

I hope Fanny is quite well. I wrote her a bit of a letter 
not long ago, and want to provoke her to write to me. It 

♦ No. 72, art. 7. 

14* L 


will do her health a great deal of good, and give me much 
pleasure. I will insult her with another letter, I think, 
hefore I leave London, It has been very cold for two or 
three weeks, till a few days ago, and now it is very warm. 
The park trees green with buds rather than leaves, and 
the grass quite luxurious. Nothing in the universe can be 
so bright, pure, and soft ; all the sloes and almond trees in 
blossom, and all the fields alive with lambs, and the sky 
echoing with larks. I assure you England is delightful in 
spring. Yet I am longing sadly to be home again. What 
I miss most in London are the four or five houses into 
which you can go at all hours, and the seven or eight wo- 
men with whom you are quite familiar, and with whom you 
can go and sit and talk at your ease, dressed or undressed, 
morning or evening, whenever you have any leisure, or in- 
disposition to be busy. Here I have only visiting acquaint- 
ances, at least among that sex, and that does not suit or 
satisfy me. I am going to dress for dinner now, and shall 
not finish this till to-morrow. — God bless you. 

Saturday^ 20th. — I have been a good part of the morn- 
ing with Chantry, who has some beautiful things. I wished 
much for you, while I was in his gallery. His busts and 
children are admirable ; but I ^o not much like either his 
full statues or his designs in relief. He is a strange, blunt 
fellow himself; and in his workshop I met another curi- 
osity — a Scottish poet — ^no contemptible imitator of Burns, 
who is a sort of overseer for Chantry, and is trusted with 
all his business."^ He was bred a carpenter ; but being, 
like most of my countrymen, well educated, he wandered 
up to London and set about reporting debates for the 
newspapers; but, being a strict Whig, he grew so impatient 
of the baseness he was obliged to set down, that he came 
to Chantry, who is a bit of a Whig also, and said he would 
rather sweep his shop for him than go on with such drudge- 

* Allan Canningham. 


Tj ; and now lie is his right-hand man, and has invented 
various machines of great use and ingenuity. I shall send 
you a volume oi his poetry, to let you see what universal 
geniuses come out of Scotland. 

It is beautiful weather, and I divert myself with varieties 
of talk and spectacles ; but, for all that, weary sadly for 
my wife and child, and wake half a dozen times in the 
night with a heavy heart, to find myself alone. 

I have not had time yet to call on your fair cousin. Miss 
De P., but I fancy you will forgive me for that omission. 
I think I shall go down to Malthus with Mackintosh, this 
day week, I understand he is quite well, and I hope to 
hear a nightingale. I w^ surprised, this morning, to run 
against my old friend Tommy Moore, who looks younger, 
I think, than when we met at Chalk Farm some sixteen 
years ago. His embarrassments, I understand, are nearly 
settled now, and he may again inhabit this country. I 
am to dine with him the day after to-morrow. 

Is the Mush who is here as your minister the same man 
whom I sat beside at Madison's table, and to whom I 
addressed that polite letter before sailing, which you had 
the clownishness to abuse as a piece of flattery ? If he is, 
I think I must renew my acquaintance with him. I suppose 
Irving will be able to tell me, and it would be rather more 
sensible to ask him than you for my present purpose. I 
know nothing of Simond or his book. The travels, I 
daresay, will be good ; but the history will not do, though 
it has cost him fifty times more labour. I wish he would 
come over here for a while. Will you think tne very 
romantic if I tell you that I took a long lonely walk to-day 
all over the Park and Kensington Gardens, in the very 
track in which I walked with Charlotte the last time I 
saw her before her return to America ? and all through 
the street, and up to the door of the house in Wood- 
stock Street, where she then lodged, and where I took my 
farewell of her. That is now ten years ago, and I am 


not much altered, I think, eince that time. London, I 
think, looks less, and more empty thaA usual, though we 
had a good levee yesterday, and ten carriages were de- 
molished in the press. People complain that the king sees 
nobody, but is always either shut up with a few women 
and blackguard favourites, or figuring at a few gala days, 
where everybody pass before him as fast as they can trot. 
He is well enough in health, I believe, but very fat, nervous, 
and lazy, and eannot be long-lived. I am sorry ccbout the 
bank ; but if the storm advances on you, you must just fly 
before it. Go to Bloomingdale by all means ; it will do you 
a vast deal of good. I told you that I liked your Ameri- 
can novel ; but I am a very lenient critic, and can by no 
means answer for its success here. Indeed he makes too 
lavish a use of extreme means — he is always in agonies. — 
Very affectionately yours. 

89.— Tb Mn. Colden, New York. 

(A sister of Mrs. Jeffrey.) 

Mardocks, 6th May, 18^2. 
, My dear Fanny— 1 am on my way back to Scotland, 
after a three weeks' exile in London, and take the leisure 
of this fine summer morning to write you a long letter. I 
hope you are sensible of the compliment I pay you in 
taking this vast sheet of paper, which, to make it the more 
gracious, I have stolen from the quire on which my host, 
Sir James Mackintosh, is now writing his history. 

I have been very much amused in London, though rather 
too feverishly, so that it isi deliciously refreshing to get 
out of its stir and tumult, and sit down to recollect all I 
have seen and heard, amidst the flowers' freshness and 
nightingales of this beautiful country. I was a good deal 
among wits and politicians, of whom you would not care 
much to hear. But I also saw a good deal of Miss Edge- 
worth and Tommy Moore, and something of your country- 


man, Washington Irving, with whom I was very happy to 
renew my acquaintance. Moore is still more delightfal in 
society than he is in his writings ; the sweetest^blooded, 
warmest-hearted, happiest, hopefulest creature that ever 
set fortune at defiance. He was quite ruined abotit three 
years ago by the treachery of a deputy in a small office 
he held, and forced to reside in France. He came over, , 
since I came to England, to settle his debts by the sacrifice 
of every farthing he had in the world, and had scarcely 
got to London when he found that the whole scheme of 
settlement had blown up, and that he must return in ten 
days to his exile. And yet I saw nobody so sociable, kind, 
and happy; so resigned, or rather so triumphant over 
fortune, by the buoyancy of his spirits, and the inward light 
of his mind. He told me a great deal about Lord Byron, 
with whom h.e had lived very much abroad, and of whose 
heart and temper, with all his partiality to him, he cannot 
say any thing very favourable. There is nothing gloomy 
or bitter, however, in his ordinary talk, but rather a wild, 
rough, boyish pleasantry, much more like, nature than his 

Miss Edgewprth I had not seen for twenty years, and 
found her very unlike my recollection. 

Have you any idea what sort of thing a truly elegant 
English woman of fashion is ? I suspect not ; for it is not 
to be seen almost out of England, and I do not know very 
well how to describe it. Great quietness, simplicity, and 
delicacy of manners, with a certain dignity and self-pos- 
session that puts vulgarity out of countenance, and keeps 
presumption in awe ; a singularly sweet, soft, and rather 
low voice, with remarkable elegance and ease of diction ; a 
perfect taste in wit and manners and conversation, but no 
loquacity, and rather languid spirits; a sort of indolent 
disdain of display and accomplishments ; an air of great 
good-nature and kindness, with but too often some heart- 
lessness, duplicity, and ambition. These are some of the 


traits, and such, I think, as would most strike an Ameriean. 
You would think her rather oold and spiritless ; but she 
would predominate over yon in the long run ; and indeed 
is a very bewitching and dangerous creature, more seduc- 
tive and graceful than any other in the world ; but not 
better nor happier ; and I am speaking even of the very 
best and most perfect We have plenty of loud, foolish 
things, good humoured, eVen in the highest society. 

Washington Irving is rather low-spirited and silent in 
mixed company, but is agreeable, I think, tSte d tSte^ and 
is very gentle and amiable. He is a good deal in fashion, 
and has done something to deserve it. I hope you do not 
look on him in America as having flattered our old couu'- 
try improperly. I ha4 the honour of dining twide with a 
royal duke, very jovial, loud, familiar, and facetious, by 
no means foolish or uninstructed, but certainly coarse and 
indelicate to a degree quite remarkable in the upper classes 
of society. The most extraordinary man in England is 
the man in whose house I now am. 

I came down here yesterday by way of Haileybury, 
where I took up Malthus, who is always deli^htfd, and 
brought him here with me. The two professors have gone 
over to the CoHege to their lectures, and return to dinner. 
I proceed on my journey homeward in the evening. Would 
you like to know what old England is like? and in what it 
most differs froni America? Mostly, I think, in the visible 
memorials of antiquity with which it is overspread; the 
superior beauty of its verdure, and the more tasteful and 
happy state tuoid distribution of its woods. Every thing 
around you here is historical, and leads to romantic or in- 
teresting recoll6ctions4 Gray grown church towers, cathe- 
drals, ruined abbeys, castles of all sizes and descriptions, 
^ in all stages of decay, from those that are inhabited to 
those in whose moats ancient trees are growing, and ivy 
mantling over their mouldered fragments. Within sight 
of this house, for instance, there are the remains of the 


palace of Hunsden, where Qaeea Elizabeth passed her 
childhood, and Theobalds, where King James had his hunt- 
ing-seat, and the Rye-house^ where Rambold's plot was 
laid, and which is still occupied by a malster — such is the 
permanency of habits and professions in this ancient 
country. Then there are two gigantic oak stumps, with 
a few fresh branches still, which are said to have been 
planted by Edward the III., and massiye stone bridges 
oyer lazy waters; and churches that look as old as Ghris^ 
tianity; and beautiful groups of branchy trees; and a 
verdure like nothing else in the universe; and all the cot- 
tages and lawns fragrant with sweetbrier and violets, and 
glowing with purple lilacs and white dders; and antique 
villages scattering round wide bright greens; with old 
trees and ponds, and a massive pair of oaken stocks pre- 
served from the days of Alfred. With you every tiing is 
new, and glaring, and angular, and withal rather frail, 
slight, and perishable ; nothing soft, and mellow, and vene? 
rable, or that looks as if it would ever become so. I will 
not tell you about Scotland after this. It has not these 
characters of ancient wealth and population, but beauties 
of another kind, which you must come and see. 

I have pined very much in my absence from it, but — 
[torn] — ^in my divorce from Charley and my child, though 
I get a letter from them every second day, and find they 
are well and happy. The little one is a very nice babe. 
I wish you could see her; very quick and clever certainly, 
but, what is much better, very kind-hearted, compassionate, 
and sweet-tempered, and delightfully happy all day long. 
You may laugh if you please, but I say all this is literally- 
true, and she is not a bit spoiled, not she, — ^and accordingly 
she is a universal favourite among all sorts of people, which 
a spoiled child neVer was since the world began. I wrote 
a long letter to your father after I came to London. I 
have not since heard any thing as to the Cochranes, but 
understand the admiral is better, though by no means well 


or comfortable. I have done every thing about Mrs. Shaw 
that he deiured. Write me a long letter soon, and tell me 
about Anne especially. Is she sensible, as well as merry, 
or given to fall in love, or to flirt? (which is not at all the 
same thing.) Is she domestic, or giddy and dissipated? 
Does she read any, or ride ? In short, tell me what she 
does, and what she likes to do. I have a great passion for 
her, as I recollect her, and want not to fancy her different 
from the reality. Tell me now, too, about good Mrs. 
Adam, and grandmamma. You do not know how often 
and how kindly we talk of you all, and how little your 
absence has loosened the ties which bound us together. 

I was very much shocked at reading the accounts of the 
loss of one of your packets. It seems to lessen the chance 
of our meeting, and enlarge the barrier betwixt us, though 
that is nonsense too, as the actual danger is neither greater 
nor less. I have heard nothing of Simonds for a long 
time, but I have just seen a copy of his book — two enor- 
mous thick volumes; but I have not had time yet to read 
any of it. It is not yet to be bought indeed in London. 
I suppose I shall find a copy when I get home. It is as 
warm to-day as our summer generally is, and nothing is so 
delicious as this early heat. The dust is parching, but 
every thing dewy, and fragrant, and fresh. All the leaves 
are now out, but the oaks indeed scarcely quite out yet. 
In Scotland I fear our branches are still bareish, though 
our spring, I understand, has been rather more forward 
than usual. Charlotte has resumed her riding with the 
fine weather, and is become exceedingly popular and hos- 
pitable in my absence. She is at Craigcrook, and seems 
to be keeping open house. I really think she has grown 
more agreeable within the last two years ; she likes more 
people, and feels more intensely the pleasure of making 
others happy. You will laugh at this too, I suppose, and 
think I am falling into my dotage. No matter, see wheth^ 
Mr. Colden will say as much of you after nine years* mar- 


riage. Rememl)er me verj kindly to liim, and all the 
worthy democrats of your acquaintance. I reverence them 
very much, and think they havfe good cause to be proud of 
their handiwork. I hope you are now quite Well, and active, 
and popular. What is your favourite pursuit ? and what 
sort of people do you like most to live with? Are you 
tired of music yet? That will come> you know; and it is 
better that you should tire of it before your husband does. 
God bless yoir, my dear Fan. — ^Very affectionately yours. 

90. — To Cfharks Wilkes, Esq., New York. 

Edinburgh, 22d September, 1822. 

My dear Friend — 

I have at last sent you the picture, and have been gene- 
rous enough to let you have the original, which I hope you 
will admire as much as it deserves. It is very like the 
child,* though it gives a very inadequate idea of her ani- 
mation, or of the sunny sweet expression which is the ge- 
neral ornament of her features. It went to Liverpool 
more than three weeks ago, and by a letter from Kennedy 
I find it was sent off early in this month, so at all events 
I think you must receive it before this reach you. We just 
got home to receive your letter of the 14th August, with 
the statement of my money, for which I thank you, &c. 

Simonds wrote from Berne to announce his marriage. 
He seems very happy. I rather like his book. I mean the 
journey ; for I really have not been able to see the history. 
It is obviously a failure in an attempt to condense a vast 
mass of dull matter into a moderate compass. The con- 
sequence of which is, that the dulness is increased in pro- 
portion to the density, and the book becomes ten times 
more tedious by its compression. This is not a paradox 
now, but a simple truth, for the reader has not time in 
those brief notices to get acquainted with the persons, or 

* His daughter. 
Vol. n.— 15 


to take an interest in the events ; whereas the verj copious- 
ness of a full historical detail begets a familiarity which 
grows up insensibly to a regard. I have always said that 
Clarissa Ilarlowe and Sir C. Grandison owe all their attrac- 
tion to their length ; and it is quite certain that an abstract 
of either would be illegible. And it is just the same with 
triie histories, if there be any such thing. However, the 
whole work id very respectable, and I meditate a review 
of it. There is a number ju^t out which you will have got 
before you get this^ and of which I have but little to say. 
I have been lazy, and wrote only Nigel, and part of the 
first article. The most remarkable book that is notioed is 
O'Meara's Bonaparte ; to me the most interesting publica- 
tion that has appeared in our times. It has made a great 
sensation both in this country and in Paris, and no one 
doubts its authenticity^ or that it is a faithful account of 
what Bonaparte did say. The petty squabbles with Sir H. 
Low take up far too much of it, and should be left out of 
the next edition ; though it is easy to see' that America 
thinks that the most interesting part of the work. Though 
there is much rashness, and probably some falsehood, in 
those imperial lucubrations, they seem to me to show infi- 
nite talent, and make a nearer approach to magnanimity 
and candour than I at all expected. I am curious to hear 
what you think of them, &c. 

Pray give my kindest love to Mrs. W., and your admira- 
ble old ladies, who are perfect patterns to grow old by; 
and to Fanny and my dear little Anne, for whom I have 
so many kisses in store. 

God bless you and make you all liappy.— ^Ever very affec- 
tionately yours. 

91. — To his NiecBy Miss Brown. 

Cathedral Church of Basle, 18th August, 1828. 
My dear Harriet — What do you think of that for a place 
to write froni ? I doubt whether there was ever a letter 


written in it before. But the heat is so intolerable everj- 
where eke, that having experienced the delicioos feeling 
of coolness when we came here to see it, I bethought my* 
self of asking leave to come back and write in it, which the 
worthy sexton — as this is a free Protestant city, and above 
Popish prejadices — thought very reasonable. So I am 
now sitting in the middle of the choir, with the tomb of 
Erasmus beside me, the hall of the famous council at my 
back, and the ashes of a hutdred Helvetic warriors of old 
renown under my feet. 

I wrote to you I think from Mentz, or from some place 
thereabouts. We have come on very well ever since, tiU 
the heat overtook us the day before ye8terday,'and one of 
the crane necks of our perch broke last night, by which 
disaster we laid by a whole day till it can be repaired. If 
the heat lasts, however, we must travel by night and sleep 
in the day, thpugh that will be a little difficult between two 
feather beds, which is the usual accommodation in this 
country. The B.];iine, which we have regained, is much 
improved since we parted, having lost much of his mud, 
and pours down rain in a fine sea-green torrent, roaring 
and surging in, a free manly voice from between the moun- 
tains of the Jura and those of the Black Forest, which lie 
both before us. We got the first peep of the snowy Alps 
yesterday, but at a great distance, ranging like low white 
clouds over a distant upland. There are six or seven peaks 
in sight at once, 100 miles off, I daresay, but very imposing 
and majestical. We have lost them again by drawing 
nearer to the intervening heights, but shall probably see 
them again to-morrow, and next day hope to be among 
them. We go from this place to Scha£fhausen, and then 
on to Zurich, where we part, — Mr. Wilkes and the women 
going direct to Oeneva, and we three free men of the forest 
taking across to St. Gothard to Venice, and what not. We 
reassemble at Geneva about the 5th of September, and I 
wish you would immediately write to that place, as it takes 


ftbout sixteen dajs to go, and I shall not remain above a 
week. I think I described the rocky and castling rise of 
the Rhine to you. After that we skirted a long range of 
woody hills for near 100 miles, about as high as the Oohil^, ' 
bat covered with wood to the top, vineyards at the bottom, 
and on the slope villagers' houses in old walnut groves and 
orchards ; On the opposite side a vast plain, blackened now 
and then by forest, and bordered et & great distance by 
skyish mountains fifty miles off — something resembling in 
their form the west end of the Gampsie hills, when seen 
five miles off. The Grerman towns are very handsome, and 
even magnificent, but here a despotic and — ap- 
pearance, and swarm with whiskered soldiers and drums, 
and are troublesome about passports and bag- 
gage. I keep a journal, where every thing worthy of 
remembrance is recorded, and you shall be allowed to read 
it for the small charge of one penny ; so I avoid particu- 
lars here. We are all here quite well, &c. 

I had a letter here from Mr. Morehead, the oply one we 
have got since leaving home. We think very often of yott 
all, and wish ourselves back with you again ; for, after all^ 
travelling is pleasanter when it is over than while it is 
going on. We have laid in materials that may serve us 
all for lying for the rest of our lives. We have agreed 
very well — Cockbum being despotic, and the rest of us 
dutifully obedient. Farewell, my dear Harriet, &c. — Be* 
lieve me always, very affectionately yours. 

92.-^0 Miss Brown. 

. Venice, 25th August, 1828. 
My dear B[a,rriet — Here we are at last, at the end of 
our journey^ and with nothing but a return before us. It 
requires to be as far from home as I am, and to love it as 
well, to understand the comfort there is in that. Yet we 
have come on charmingly, except that we have been 
bothered eternally about passports, and are almost dis- 


solved into a dew^ witb beat. That last is indeed a serious 
evil, and I bear it worse than I expected, especdally in the 
nighty for thongh I sleep under a single sheet, there is no 
lying still for it, and I am up half a dozen times washing 
myself with water and eau de Cologne. The skin, too, is 
off both my ears, and is coming off my nose, and all this 
in sight of the snowy Alps. It is very shocking ! 

I have T^ritten you three letters on my journey, but I 
cannot remember the places ; one from Basle, and one, I 
think, from Verona. Has not that last a classical sound ? 
I looked out for Juliet's garden and the house of Old 
Oapulet, but could make nothing of it. There is a fine 
old amphitheatre there, very massive and eternal, but not 
graceful. We have been at Padua too. There I could 
hear nothing of Dr. Bellario; and I have been twice in 
the Bialto without seeing either Shylock or Antonio. 
Such is the nlagio of Shakspeare. I think only of his 
characters passing by these places, and think them far 
better consecrated by his fictions than their historical 
realities. We go baak by Mantua and Cremona to Milan, 
and so by^ the Simplon to Geneva. We parted company 
at Lucerne, — Mr. Wilkes going straight with the females 
to Geneva, and I, with Bichardson and Cockburn, over 
St. Gothard here. We rise too early, and are sleepy for 
it half the day; but it is necessary, I perceive, to get 
through our work, &;c. 

Venice, at least the St. Mark part, is so like the pano- 
rama you had in Scotland last year, that it would be ab- 
surd to describe it. At any rate, however, it is very 
curious to find one's self in the middle of it. It looks 
very fairy and Eastern, splendid and melancholy. We 
came yesterday, and shall go away to-morrow.* I like 
Switzerland best. Lombardy is generally flat and dusty, 
and full of poplars, with the dim Alps towering through a 

* We did not 


quiveriiig hot atmospliere. On the north the towns very 
magnificent and Grecian, and the large housea very pic- 
turesque, with large cool gardens inside. 

In this place there is not a tree, nor a hit of an j green 
thing but the water, which smells abominably. The whole 
town, however, is very picturesque ; and the infinite 
variety of splendid palaces growing out of the water, and 
steeping to decay, gives it a character quite unique and 
interesting. It is a thing to remember and speak of for 
a lifetime. 

I have not got over m^ home sickness yet by any 
means ; and since I have been parted fi'om my child, it is 
still stronger. She was perfectly well and gay all the 
time I was with her, but I cannot help being anxious 
about her, now that she is out of my sight, &c. God 
bless you, my dear child. — ^Very affectionately yours. 

93.— To John AlleUy Mq. 

18th BecemlDer, 1823. 
My dear Allen — Somebody told me that you had read 
Brodie's History of the Stuarts, and approved of it. I 
am very anxious that so meritorious a work of a Scottish 
Whig should have some honour in the Review, and men- 
tioned it some time ago to Mackintosh, to whom I thought 
it would be easy to estimate the merit and originality of 
his views. But the said M. makeait a principle, of late, 
to take no notice of my letters, and I therefore apply to 
you, either to urge him to this laudable task, or, what 
would be still better, to take it on yourself. Your Saxon 
fit, I should think, must be pretty Well over by this time ; 
and it is really of more consequence .to the cause of 
modern freedom to give us correct ideas of Charles than 
of Alfred, and to correct the blunders of Hume than of 
Bede. Make a stride, therefore, over eight centuries, and 
show us the true beginnings of the good and ill that are 
still at work among us, &c. 


We are all well here, and tolerably quiet and harmo- 
nions, — Clerk looking the part of Judge admirably, and 
Granstoun very popular as Dean. 

Remember me very kindly to Lord and Lady Holland. 

Write me a line in answer, and believe me, very truly 

94.^ — To Mm Brown. 

Stuckgown, 28d September, 1824. 

My dear Harriet — 

We had a lovely day for coming here ; bright, with 
great slow-sailing autumn olouds, sometimes stooping for 
a while on the peaks of the hills, sometimes blackening 
their sides with deep shadows, or changing the skyish 
brilliancy of the water into dark marble. We left the 
horses to feed at Luss, and walked on to the point of 
Firkin, where I left the females to wait for the carriage, 
and went over the heights by the old road, &c. 

This place is more beautiful than ever, and the sight of 
Switzerland has not spoiled it in the least. The trees 
have grown larger, and been more thinned. The house is 
all nicely painted ; and here is Joseph Stewart* despairing 
for you beside all the clear streams in the valleys. Yes- 
terday being glorious with sun and calm, we went to the 
top of Ben Lomond quite leisurely and comfortably; saw 
all the glorious company of mountains, from Ben Nevis to 
Stirling ; and also our own shadows, surrounded with 
glories, reflected on the mist. We got down in the most 
magnificent sunset, and met two of the most beautiful 
girls in the Highlands gathering nuts in the woods; and 
the splendid light reflected back from their bright eyes 
and teeth and shining curls, as they sat on a tuft of heath, 
with the dark oak coppice behind them, made the loveliest 
and most romantic picture I ever looked on. This morn- 

* A boatman. 


ing it is divinely calm and warm, though a light summer 
mist is still curling on the water, and the heavy dew drop- 
ping from the branches. Tou must know that I am 
writing before breakfast, as the post goes off at ten 

o'clock. Miss M«M , I think, is younger than when I 

left her. We are all well ; and all your house was well 
when we passed. They are all a little sad at the dropping 
of the last of the old line, and the prospect of poor old 
Daldowie passing into the hands of strangers. There was 
something very primitive in the life we have seen and led 
there, and which nothing else is very likely to replace. 
But so the tide of time runs on, and we must submit to be 
borne along with it. We shall stay here for three days 
more, and then return to Glasgow, and so to Craigcrook. 
I must be in Aberdeen by the 4th of October, and after 
that I should be strongly tempted i<o run up for you, if my 
toils and duties would any way bear that intermission. 

God bless you, my dear Harriet ; I said something harsh, 
I believe, of your new friends, in my last letter, but it had 
no meaning, and may be forgotten. Only you will see no 
lakes like this lake, nor hills like these ; and we have many 
more sounding rills and singing cascades, and far more of 
that deep solitude and wild seclusion, which speak to the 
heart more impressively than shade or verdure can ever do 
without them, — Write soon again ; and believe me, very 
affectionately yours. 

95. — To Mr. MalthuB. 

6th January, 1826. 
My dear Malthus — I ought to have thanked you before 
for making us acquainted with the Eckersalls, to whom we 
take mightily, &c. 

It is long, my good friend, since we have met in quiet 
and comfort ; for these little glimpses, during my fevered 
runs to London, are not the thing at all. Will you not 
bring down Mrs. Malthus, and stay a few weeks with us 


next Bummer at CraigoroQk ? I have a great deal of let- 
.flitre after tbe middle ^ July, and I am persuaded we 
could fiad 8ii£Elde&t ^mplo jment for you, both i^t home aad 
oa our travels. I was not at ^all surprised to learn how 
severely both you and she had suffered from the great af- 
fliction which has befftUea you. I never look at the rosy 
cheeks and slender form of my (mly ohild^ without an in- 
ward shudder at the thought of how much utter wretched- 
ness is suspended over me by so slight a cord. Tou have 
still two such holds on happiness, and may they never be 
loosened, &c. 

God bless you, my dear Malthus. I have long been ac- 
customed to quote you as the very best example I know 
of a wise and happy man. I should be sorry to be obliged 
to withdraw either epithet, but I would much rather part 
with the first than the last. — ^Believe me always, very af- 
fectionately yours. 

Q6.—T0 Mrs. Coldethy New York. 

Oraigoroolc, 29th Muroh, 1S27. 
My dear Fanny — ^We have just received your letter of 
the 15th of February, together with your father's of the 
28th ; and I have been so much interested and pleased 
with yours, that I have asked Charlotte to let me answer 
it ; and so she has scampered out with Charley, and left 
me by the fire, in my invalid slippers, to talk to my invalid 
sister on the other side of the water. I always take a 
vast affection and admiration for you when you are suffer- 
ing or in danger. There is something so high-minded and 
fair in the light way you speak of your uneasinesses and 
anxieties, that I think a great deal more tenderly of you 
and them, than if you had whined and shuddered about 
jbhem— as a spoiled and petted child like you might have 
been expected to do ; and enter warmly ioto the kind soli- 
^tude of the rest of your family, when I find you heroic 
enough to laugh at them. I earnestly trust that, long 


before you caa receive this, your gentle and cheerful mag* 
nanimity will have been rewarded by such a consummation 
as we all wish for, and think it most reasonable to expects 
At such a distance 4is this, however, it is impossible to be 
without anxiety ; and I feel a kind of dread which checks 
my pen in its course of levity, and bids me close with, 
what never can be out of season, my earnest prayers for 
your safety and happiness. I like your little sketches of 
people, too, though I do not know them; and alk those 
stories of marriage and children which speak so plainly of 
a new and rapidly-advancing country. !Boys and girls are 
fathers and mothers before they are twenty. And then 
they go on — ^being fathers and mothers, (as witness our 
dear Eliza,) through toils and sickness, till their oldest 
children are ready to take up the manufacture — directing 
their whole souls, days, and resources to carry on the popu- 
lation of the country. I am afraid you must have passed 
for a very unpatriotic matron hitherto. I daresay public 
considerations have had their share in making you so 
anxious to wipe off this reproach. Though the clan of 
Golden may be a little weak for a while in consequence of 
this tardiness, there will be a gallant colony of Wilkes, at 
all events, to keep up your connection. In about forty 
years, I reckon there will be more than 300 cousins and 
second-cousins of you — ^with, none of them starving, and 
not so much chance of any of them being hanged. Whereas, 
if any family had ventured to multiply in that manner in 
the old country, one half would certainly have been in the 
hospital, and a good part of the ethers in prison. I had 
another pair of fair nurses and comforters in my past 
illness — I mean my friend Sidney Smith's daughters, who 
left me about ten days ago, after a kind and delight- 
ful visit of five weeks. The father and mother, I mean, ' 
were here, too ; and though so large an addition to our 
quiet family, with the calling and visiting it brought with 
it, was rather wearing now and then, it is impossible for 



any thing to have been more agreeable than our domestic 
alliance. He is the gayest mun and the greatest wit in 
England ; and yet, to those who know him, this is his least 
recommendation. His kind heart, sound seilse, and uni- 
versal indulgence, making him loved and esteemed by 
many to whom his wit was unintelligible, and his fancy 
only — [illegible.] — 

9T. — To Lord Cockbum. 
(Just after Canning's death.) 

Staolcgawn^ Lock Lomond^ 18th August, 1827. 
My dear C. — Though this hermit life suits me well, yet 
these great and sad events have stirred me even in the 
depths of my solitude, and made me long a little to know 
how they are looked upon in the world. I have yet heard 
of them only from newspapers, and the scope of most of 
them I have seen, T confess, disgusts me, and could almost 
make me wish to be a hermit for life. Mine excellent host 
is a bit of a Tory, and takes in vile trash, so that it ia not 
for nothing that I languish for the words of Abercrombie 
and Allen on this subject. It is a sad blow, and as ill- 
timed as possible. The Whigs have ill luck, and I fear 
are no favourites of Providence any more than Gato was 
before them. There is an end, I fear, for the present of 
this new and bold experiment of a liberal or rational go- 
vernment, for Wellington and Peel, I think, must come 
back, and then where can we be, but where we were before 
Liverpool's demise, or still further back perhaps in the 
blessed one of Gastlereagh ? I do. not expect an immediate 
dismissal or resignation of the late Whig confederates; 
but can they act with those associates, coming back too in 
the spirit of a restoration ? Can they act without Can- 
ning ? and will Brougham, who scarcely submitted to be 
second or auxiliary even to him, consent to co-operate in 
such, a capacity with Peel, or somebody perhaps far lower. 
Our best hope — for this is flat despair — ^is that no farther 


coalition slioiild be attempted,, but the ministry *alle wed to 
settle itaelf in an anti-catholic, legitimate, intolerant basisi 
and see how it can maintain itself against Ireland, and 

reason, and manufactarers, and-^~- ^ and common sense? 

GK)d help us ! These are hermit speculations, and very 
probably already ridiculous. 

I expect to be in Glasgow on Friday or Saturday, and 
wish you would write me a line to say how those things are 
felt and judged of by the faithful. I think I am better 
since I came here. I ride about glorious on the excise* 
man's pony, and am received with much reverence as a 
deputy of that worthy tax-gatherer. It has been fine 
showery weather. The long wet has filled the lake up to 
its woody edge^ and brought out all the voices of the tenants, 
and all the sweets of the limes and birches. We have 
thoughts of going round by Inverary. What is Richard- 
son doing? And our poor excellent Sir Henry is gone! 
These notifications make one sad in spite of reason and ex- 
peri^ice. I think I shall be at Craigcrook again about 
the 20th, and till then I shall not determine about going 
to Harrowgate, or any other health well. When is that 
eternal Glasgow valuation to come on after all ? I shall 
not derange myself to be at it, after so many countermands. 
Where is Murray, and Thomas, and Rutherfurd, and 
Sophy ? Send me a brief Edinburgh bulletin, or I shall 
oome back to you like one of the sleepers awaked. With 
](;indest love from all our party to Mrs. C. and Jeanie. — 
Always very affectionately yours. 

98, — To Lord Cochhurn^ 

Glasgow, 19th August, 1827. 

My dear Cockburn — I thank you for your despatches, 
wliich contain all I wanted to hear. The last, which I got 
last night, was particularly acceptable, especially for the 
good prospect it holds out of Lord Holland's succession to 
office, of which Allen surely must be able to speak w^th 


some confidence. He and Auckland are the very best, 
after Lansdowne, to give stability to the mix^ goyernment, 
from their practical good sense, temper, and moderation — 
qualities, in the present crisis, of infinitely more import- 
ance than ingenuity or genius, fto» 

Alas ! for poor Sir Henry and ancient Hermand !* \ It 
is sad to haye no more talk of times older than our own, 
and to be ourselves the vouchers for all traditional anti- 
quity. I fear, too, that we shall be less characteristic of a 
past age than those worthies, who lived before manners 
had become artificial and uniform, and opinion, guarded 
and systematic. However, we must support each other, 
and continue to be amiable among our juniors, if we can- 
not manage to be venerable. 

We came round by Inverary after leaving Loeh Lomond, 
and returned by Loch Long, slowly and voluptuously ; — 
beautiful weather, one day sun, and the other shade, and 
the last the sweetest. The doctor thinks me in the way of 
recovery, if I can keep sober company, and avoid too much 
excitement, and says I need not go to Harrowgate, unless 
I find it necessary for these objects ; so, we shall hold a 
consult at Graigcrook, and deliberate on these things. 
Pray, dine there on Thursday with Mrs. C. and Jeanie, 
and ask Thomas and the Rutherfurds, and any others you 
think worthy. I hope CriefiJ^'s daughter will not die. I 
wish I could summon up energy enough to, write a pan^ 
gyric on old Sir Henry ; . and if I were at home I think I 
should. But I can do nothing anywhere else ; and I sup- 
pose Andrew Thomsonf will make one in a printed sermon, 
after which mihe would seem impertinent and impious, &c. 

* Sir Harry MdncriefT, and George Fergusson, Lord Hermand, had 
both died OA the 9th of this Aiagust 
f The Bev. Andrew Thomson. 

Vol. n.— 16 


99. — To Mr 9. Jame% Oraig {in England,) 

Craigcrook, 21 st October, 1828. 

My dear Mrs. Craig — ^Alas, alas, we are not coming 
this year yet ; And this paltry little paper is all that is 
still to speak to you for me. I did intend though, most 
sincerely, and wish most anxiously, to come to you ; and 
till within these last ten days, I clung to the hope of heing 
able to make it out; but now, at last, I must renounce, and 
fancy it is necessairy to let you know, &c. 

We have been stationary, on the whole, all this season, 
and since our August pilgrimage to Loch Lomond, have 
not been further than Ayr and Galloway. We have been 
propitiating the household and hospitable gods here, in our 
domestic shades, and among more shade and verdure than 
I ever remember at Craigcrook. We have had some 
pleasant strangers, and all our old pleasant friends. Cock- 
burn has deserted us more than usual ; first, for his Eng- 
lish friends, and then for those in the north, hi^ving been 
a week or more with the Lauder Dicks, and passing twice 
by RothiemurchuSi We have had a good deal of the Mur- 
rays; his mother's very precarious health keeping them 
more cot^stantly at home than usual at this season. The 
Rutherfurds have been staying with us, and Thomson and 
FuUerton are steady adherents of the city. We are all 
well, — ^that is, always excepting my interesting trachea^ 
which remains nearly as it was. Charley blooming and 
bright, and at least as tall as her father, which is not say- 
ing much ; — living lovingly and tranquil, without envy or 
eclat, and growing old and insignificant in a very exem- 
plary manner. 

You see how I presume on my old privileges, and quietly 
take it for granted that you will be pleased to hear all this 
twaddle about ourselves; and so you will, I know; and 
will also gratify us by telling us again the t^neventful his- 
tory of your current life. We must not grow strangers to 


each other while we remain together on this same English 
earth, and I long continuaUy to hear of one of whom I 
think with unabated interest every sunny morning and . 
every moonlight night, &c. 

All my house send their love to you ; not only the 
Charlottes, but Kitty, and Fanny, and my poll parrot, and 
my thrush, and various other pets, on which I, have been 
obligefd to lavish my waste affection since I have lost you. 
Alas ! alas ! there is no living without these things ; , and 
so no more, — God bless you, and good night. 

IQO.— To Mrs. Craig. 

GraigoToolc, Bth April, 1829. 

My dear Mrs. Craig—* 

We tave been here about a fortnight, something nipped 
with east winds, but very tranquil and contented. It is 
an infinite relief to get away from those courts and crowds, 
to sink into a half slumber on one's own sofa, without fear 
of tinkling bells and importunate attorneys ; to read novels 
and poems by a crackling wood fire, and go leisurely to 
sleep without feverish anticipations of to-morrow's battles ; 
to lounge over a long breakfast, looking out on glittering 
evergreen^ and chuckling thrushes ; and dawdle about the 
whole day in the luxury of conscious idleness, &c. 

101.— ro Charles Wilkes, Esq., New York. 

Graigcrook, 28th March, 1830. 
My dear Friend— I never saw three such days in March- 
To be sure, they are the first days of my vacation, and 
come after a hard winter of work and Weather. But they 
have been so deliciously soft, so divinely calm and bright, 
and the grass i^ so green, and the pale blue sky so reso- 
nant with larks in the morning, and the loud strong bridal 
chuckle of blackbirds and thrushes at sunset, and the air 
so lovesick with sweetbrier, and the garden so bright with 

184 LUPfl oar lord j^nrby. 


hepaticas, and primroses, and violets, and my traniSplai^ted 
trees dancing out so gracefuUj from mj broken clumps^ 
and my leisurely evenings wearing aitay so tranquilly, that 
they have passed in a sort of enchantment, to which I 
scarcely remember any thing exactly parallel since I first 
left college in the same sweet season to meditate on my 
first love, in my first ramble in the Higblaftds. 

Well, it is a fine thing this spring, especially when it 
comes with the hoaling of leisure on itd wings, anfl after a 
long dark season of labour, and winter, and weariness. I 
never have had such hard work as this last session ; and 
though I never made so much money, I should willingly 
have compounded for less of both. But it is difficult, 
if not impossible, to make such an election'— as difficult as 
to go gently under the influence of a strong current and 
brisk gale. And besides, in the first year of my official 
supremacy,* I thought it right to show 1 waft equal to all 
the work of the fitst employment. My health has not stff* 
fered from the exertion ; for though I have had annoy- 
ances and infirmities of diverse i^orts, I am satisfied that 
none of them have been brought on or aggravated by my 

We shall be here for about a fortnight only, and then 
we shall run up for a week or two to London, where I take 
the excuse of two or three appeals that have been pressed 
upon me to pay a visit ;— ^my real objects being to air my- ' 
self, to see some friends, to consult some doctors about my 
unhappy trachea and some swelling veins in my leg, and 
to glad my dim eyes with the sight of that lovely green, 
to which there is nothing to be compared in any part of 
the world,-r-the first flush of. the vernal green of the south- 
ern parts of England, before the velvet of the grass is 
speckled with flowers and rank tufts. I take my Charlotte 
with JS/LO of course, and though my retainers are far enough 

« His Deaaship. 

TO M6RGE J. :tfELL. 185 

from being flplendid, tbey will pay for my joarney, and 
the duller \^ork I muBt have been doing if I had not 
taken it, kc. 

At home things are still in a strange, and, I fear, rather 
precarious state, though the duke is supposed to be rathei^ 
stronger than after meeting of Parliament. We are in 
the full career of economical and legal reform. Under the 
last head, there is a talk of reducing the number of our 
Scottish judges, and not filling up the three or four that 
are first vacated, — a resolution rather ominous to aq)irants 
turned of fifty, and which would annoy me more than any 
one man in the profession, if I happened to care any thing 
about it, which I do not. If I were but a little richer, I 
think I should decline any such appointment, and would 
do well so to decide. But we shall see. If I were so to 
decline, who knows wl^ether I might not come over once 
more to see you and your woiMlerful country ? But, in the 
mean time, pray come once more to see us, and perhaps 
we may dee you home again. 

'With kindest love to all. — Ever affectionately yours. 

102.-- To George J. Bell, JS$q. 

Notember, 1880. 
My dear Bell*— I think I should not be so much de- 
lighted with your partiality, if I were not conscious of 
being altogether undeserving of it. I am only afraid that 
you find me out one day or other to be a much poorer 
creature than you imagined. However, I love and esteem 
you beyond any man upon earth ; and if that give me any 
claim to your affection, I think I have a chance to retain 
it. I ^m a little ashamed and humiliated at the proofs you 
are giving of your superior industry and talents ; but all 
that is painful in the feeling is very indolent and insignifi- 

* Mr. Bell had just dedicated his " Principles of the Law of Scotland*' 

to him. 



cant ; and I look forward with pleasure, altogether unmixed 
with enyjy to the time when your exertions shall have 
placed you in a situation in which your friendship for me 
will have something of the air of condescension. — ^Believe 
me always, your very affectionate friend. 

103.— To Mr. Umpson. 

Grantham, Monday Eyening, 
Slsi January, 1881. 

My dear E.-^Here we are on our way to you;, toiling 
up through snow and darkness, with this shattered carcase 
and this reluctant and half-desponding spirit. You know 
how I hate early rising; and here have I been for three 
days up two hours, before the sun, and, blinking by a dull 
taper, haggling at my inflamed beard before a little pimp- 
ing inn looking-glass, and abstaining from suipide only 
from a deep sense of religion and love to my country. To* 
night it snows and blows, and there is good hope of our 
being blocked up at Witham Comer, or Alcontery Hill, or 
some of these lonely retreats, for a week or so, or fairly 
stuck in the drift, and obliged to wade our way to some 
such hovel as received poor Lear and his fool in some such 
season. Oh, dear, dear ! But in the mean time we are 
sipping weak black tea by the side of a tolerable fire, and 
are in hopes of reaching the liberties of Westminster before 
dark on Wednesday. We have secured lodgings, I believe, 
at 87 Jermyn Street, where, if you could have the great 
kindness to present yourself at any time after four on 
Thursday, you would diffuse more joy over an innocent and 
exiled family than they have any of them tasted since they 
were driven from their fatherland. This is all the purpose 
of my writing, and I am too sleepy, or tired at least, to 
say any more. 

There is not much fair weather before us, I fear, politi- 
cally, any more than physically ; and the only comfort is, 
that we are honest and mean ^ell. In that respect there 


has been no such ministry in England. Oolr. other advan- 
tage, and our only one, is, that the only party that can 
now turn us out must be mad, or worse, to risk the experi- 
ment in the present temper of the country and &tate of the 
times. The real battle that is soon to be fought, and the 
only one now worth providing for, is not between Whigs 
and Tories, Liberals and Illiberals, and such gentlemanlike 
denominations, but between property and no property — 
swing and th« law. In that battle all our Tory opponents 
must be on the same side with us ; and as we are now in 
lawful command under the king, it is plain that they should 
range themselves und^r our standard, and not make a mu- 
tiny in the camp. We did so by them when Ir^land^was to 
be snatched from the burning ; and they are bound by a 
nearer and more fearful peril to do eo by us now. 

But we shall talk of these things. I am not very robus-' 
tious, and have had a long weakening cold. My ladies are 
with me, fast asleep under a mountain of shawls. Love to 
Macaulay and Lady Park. I hope his history is done, and 
that he will soon be restored to his disconsolate friends. 
Remember 37 Jermyn Street. — Ever yours. 

104. — To Lord Cockbum. 

7th April, 1881. 
My dear C. — I was duly elected at Malton yesterday. 
I got there on Tuesday at one o'clock ; and attended by 
twelve forward disciples instantly set forth to call on my 
700 electors, and solicit the honour of their votes. In three 
hours and a half I actually called at 635 doors, and shook 
494 men by the hand. Next day the streets were filled 
with bands of music, and flags, and streamers of all de- 
scriptions ; in the midst of which I was helped up, about 
eleven o'clock, to the dorsal ridge of a tall prancing steed, 
decorated with orange ribbons, having my reins and stir- 
rups held by men in the borough liveries, and a long range 
of flags and music moving around me. In this state I 


paltaded throngh all the streets at a foot pace, stopping at 
erer J turning to receive three huzzas, and to bow to all the 
women in the windows. At tWelre I was safely deposited 
in the market-place, at the foot of a square-built sc^ffold^ 
packed quite full of people ; and after some dull ceremo- 
nies, was declared duly elected, by a show of hands and 
fervent acclamations. After which I addressed the multi* 
tudc, amounting, they ,say, to near 5000 persons, in very 
eloquent and touching terms ; and was then received into 
a magnificent highjacked chair, covered with orange silk, 
and gay with flags and streamers, on which I was borne on 
the shoulders of siit electors, nodding majestically through 
all the streets and streetlings ; and at length returned safe 
and glorious to my inn. At five o'clock I had to entertain 
about 120 of the more respectable of my constituents, and 
to make divers speeches till near eleven' o'clock ; having, 
in the mean time, sallied out at the head of twenty friends, 
to visit another party of nearly the same magnitude, who 
were regaling in an inferior inn, and whom we found in a 
state of far greater exaltation. All the Cayleys, male and 
female, were kind enough to come in and support me ; and 
about eleven I contrived to get away, with Sir George and 
his son-in-law, and came out here with a great cavalcade 
about midnight. The thing is thought to have gone o^ 
brilliantly. What it has cost, I do not know ; but the ac- 
counts are to be settled by Lord Milton's agent, and sent 
to me to London. 

The place from which I write belongs to a Mr. Worsley, 
a man of large fortune, who has married one of Sir George 
Cayley's daughters, and has assembled their whole gene- 
alogy in his capacious mansion. You know I always took 
greatly to the family, and like them if possible better the 
more I see of them in their family circle. The youngest, 
who is about sixteen, and I have long avowed a mutual 
flame; and the second, who is to be married next month, 
is nearly a perfect beauty. But it is the sweet blood and 

to HB6. LAmO. 180 

Ihe tttubinraJbess. and gayetj of heart which I chieflj admire 
m tbem; and atft^ mj lonely joumej and tiresome eleo* 
tion^ iikb delight of rOaaniog about these vernal valleys/ ia 
tiie idl^efls of a long suanj^lay^ in the midst of their 
blight smilfis afid happy laughs, reconciles me to existence 
Again. It ia ^ atraoge huge house, built about eighty years 
ago on a soort of Italian model, and full of old pictures 
a&d books, an! cabinets full of gimcracks, and portfolios 
crammed with antique original sketches and engravings, 
and closes full of old plate and dusty china, ii^hich would 
giv« Thomson and you, and iTohnny Clerk ia his better 
days, If 0rk enough for a monl^ though I, who have only 
a ilay to spars, prefor talking with living creatures. This 
iis all very ehildish and foolish, I confess, for a careful 
senator, at a great national crisis. But I have really been 
80 hard worked and bothered of late, that you must excuse 
me if I enjoy one day of relaxation. I go off to-morrow 
at six o'clock, &ek 

105* — 33b Mr$. Lamg. 

(The Tvidow of Malcolm Laing, Esq^, the Historian of 


London, 8tli July, 1831. 
My dear Mrs. Laing-^A thousand thanks for your kind 
and amiable leitter. It breathes the very spirit bf happi- 
ness — and of all that deserves happiness ; and I rejoice in 
it, and try not to envy it. It is very soothing to me to 
think of you at Cfaigcrook, and that you will be happy 
there. But you are happy everywhere, and make all places 
happy to "whidh you come. Would to Heaven I were with 
you, among tihe roses and the beeches. After all, why 
should I not be there? I have money enough nearly to 
U.H there in Independent idleness, (at least with the help 
of your domestic economy,) and the world would go on 
about as well, I daresay, sdthough I passed my days in 
reading and gardening, and my nights in unbroken slum- 


berg. Why, then, should I ver my worn and shattered 
frame with toils and efforts, and disturb the last sands in 
my hour-glass with the shaking of a foolish ambition? 
Why indeed? Why does nobody do what is most condu- 
cive to their happiness ? Or, rather, why are we all-framed 
and moulded into such artificial creatures as tO' require the 
excitement of habitual exertions, and the dream of ideal 
importance, and the strong exercise of hard work, to keep 
us out of ennui and despondency, and a stealing torpor 
and depressing feeling of insignificance? It is something 
of this kind with all of us, and we magnify it into a notion 
of duty, and a pretence of being useful in our generation! 
I think I shall break loose one day very soon from these 
trammels, and live the life of nature and reason after all. 
It is a bad experiment, I know, at those years. But if my 
health stand the change, I am pretty sure that my spirits 
would. Only I must get through this job first. And then, 
I suppose, I shall discover that I must make up my losses 
by a year or two's hard work at the bar, and then that it 
will be a duty to the public to go on the bench when I 
begin to fall into dotage, and to my family, to expose my- 
self and shorten toy life by ridiculous exertions. 

There is a sermon for you! ^ Heaven knows what has 
led me into it; for I only meant to thank you, and to say 
that you may do what you like with my picture, (and the 
original !) &c. 

106.— y^ Lori CockbUrn. 

London, 28d August, 18S1. 

JI". of C, five o^doch-^We eiq)ect ^ breeze to-night 
about that damned Dublin election, and I am rather 
anxious to see in what tone we take up the apology. In 
the mean time you see the anti-reformers have made the 
election sure. 

Lovely weather still, and warm showers. I ran out of 
the House for two hours last night to Yauxhall, and Saw 



the balloon soar up from a cloud of red light glowing all 
oyer the car, and glittering expanse below, into the pure 
tranquillity of the sweetest moonlight, which came checker- 
ing in among the trees beyond. It was beyond compa- 
rison beautiful. All my household have gone to walk in 

the garden; while I am about to enter into 

that hold of a slave-ship, and with little hope even of get- 
ting to the reform committee to-night, at least till very 

I shall send you my new clause to-morrow, &c. 

107.— To Lord Cookbum. 

London, Sunday £yening, 
9th October, 1881. 
My dear C. — ^You will have heard of this fatal division.* 
We will not resign ; and this is almost all the comfort I 
can give you, &c. In the mean time, the country .must 
do its duty ; first, and chiefly, by being quiet and orderly^ 
and next, by expressing its adherence to the bill and the 
ministry in all firm and lawful ways. Althorpe is rather 
anxious that those indications should be reserved till we 
are near meeting again ; but most people think it better 
not to repress them now, when the feeling is most ardent. 
In fact, the tone will be given, whether we choose it or not, 
by London and the great towns in the heart of England. 
And this should and must be followed. Only be quiet. 
The chief hope of the enemy is that you will not. Then 
■several bishops will die (or be killed) or converted ; and 
several lay lords also. Then, when we meet, probably in 
January, we shall bring in the bill again, with some im- 
provements in mechanism, and a few obnoxious things cor- 
rected — such, most probably, as the division of counties — 
and then passing more quietly through the Commons, we 
shall offer it again to the Lords, who, it is surmised, will 

* Li the Lords, throwing out the Reform BUI. 


not dare again to rejectp But having sattsfied ihm honour 
by the victory and .delay, will find out that.tb^ state of th^ 
coantry is not what they imagined, — that jJl Uiey meant 
was to give time for delibera4;e conaideration, and that it 10 
not by any means so bad as it waA before; and, in aborl^, 
that though they still hate and fear it, they must submit 
to a necessary evil and accept it, under protest for bono«r 
of the drawers, &c. 

108.— To Mi$8 Cochhum. 
(Dictated to Mrs, Jeffrey.) 

liondoxi, 17th October, 1831. 
My dear Jane — I CJ^nnot write to you with my own 
hand, having been gashed with doctors' knives but three 
hours ago ; but it is a pleasure to tell you that I am alive 
and in good hope of soon getting betiter. I was very mnch 
gratified with your kind letter, and particularly with your 
reliance upon my kindness and affiBCtion. I am naturally 
very constant in love ; and having taken a passion for you 
when you w«re little more than a baby, I assuro yon I 
shall not change, although you should turn oujb even a 
greater woman than you are* I could say a great deal 
more on this subject, were it not letting Ghurley, who 10 
already beginning to blush, too much into our confidence ; 
but I hope the time will soon come^ when I may open my 
heari; to you without the interference of any other person. 
Tell your papa that I have communioated with Lord Mel- 
bourne about Heath, and that he is not to be respited. 
Tell him, also, that we shall not be prorogued till Thura- 
day, and probably shall not meet again till the first week 
in December, whioh is too short a holiday for one in my 
condition to think of going to Scotland. Z afii anadous to 
hear of the public meeting, and hope somebody has sest 
me a newspaper with a good account of it, 

I have a charming, kind, cheerful letter from your mo- 
ther, containing such pleasing accounts of thp restoration 


of 8ick childrea to health,- that the tetj reading of it 
should go Far to recover a young sufferer like me; and 
indeed there is something qiiite balsamic in the air of in* 
noeent enjoyment at^d domestic affection that breathes all 
orer it. 

God bless yon, my dear Jane ; and may yott be long 
treli and happy, after we lovers of aii older race have 
ceased to be any thing but objects of kind remembrance. 
Ton have got through the usual portion of illness and suf- 
fering in very early life, and, I hope, cleared off all scores 
of that sort for the rest of your existence. The sweetness 
and fortitude with which you have borne it must have 
formed you to manj^ valuable habits, and have certainly 
endeared you to those who loved you before. I wish to 
God I might expect the same good fruits (torn my maturer 
chastisements ! Farewell, my dear Jane. — Ever very af- 
fectionately yours. 

109.— To Lord Cockbum. 

London, 18th Deoember, 1831. 

My dear C. — ^We made a grand division last night, or 
rather this morning, — 324, out of a house of 486, — ex- 
actly two to one. The debate, on the whole, was not inte- 
resting. made a most impertinent, unfair, and 

petulant speech ; but with passaged of great cleverness. 
Macaulay made, I think, the best he has yet delivered — 
the most condensed, at least, and with the greatest weight 
of matter. It contained the only argument^ indeed, to 
which any of the speakers who followed him applied them- 
selves. There was a very running fire of small calibres 
all the early part of yesterday ; but there were, in the 
end, three remarkable speeches. First, a mild, clear, 
authoritative vindication of the measure upon broad 
grounds, and in answer to general imputations, by Lord 
J. Russell, delivered with a louder voice and more decided 
manner than usual with him. Kext, a magnificent, spi- 

VoL. IL— 17 N 


xited, and most eloquent speech by Stanley, chiefly in cas- 

tigation of , whom he trampled in the dirt; but 

containing also a beautiful and spirited vindication of the 
Vhole principle and object of reform. This was by far 
the best speech I have heard from S. ; and, I fancy, much 
the best he has ever made. It was the best, too, I must 
own, in the debate ; for though Macaulay's was more logi- 
cal and full of thought, this was more easy, spirited, and 
graceful. The last was Peel's, which, though remarkable, 
was not good, &c, 

110. — To Lord Cockburn, 

London, 12ih Febraar74^l882. 

I dined yesterday at Lord Carlisle's, and to-day at 
Lord Althorpe's. The first had ladies, and, consequently, 
was the most gay and agreeable, — to aay nothing of 
having Sidney Smith and Luttrell. But Lady Morley 
was my great charm; out of all sight the wit^tiest and 
most original woman in London, an^ yet not at all a kill- 
joy ^ but an encourager of all other inferior gayeties, and 
with not the least mixture of spite or uncharity in hpr 
pleasantry. She is rather stricken in years, so there is 
no disturbance of my judgment upon her on that score. 
We had also all the Lady Blanches and Lady Georginas 
of the family, who, with their mother, have the true, 
sweet-blooded simplicity of the old English aristocracy; 
to which, I grieve to say, we have nothing parallel, and 
not ^uch in the same rank that is not in harsh <:ontrast, 
in Scotland. 

To-day's party was small, but it grew very delightful in 
the end, when it was still smaller, and had dwindled down 
to Lord Nugent, Poulett Thompson, Cam Hobhouse, and 
myself. Althorpe, with his usual frankness, gave us a 
pretended confession of faith and a sort of creed of his 
political morality, and ayt)wed that, though it was a very 


allocking doctrine to promulgate, he must say that he had 
never sacrificed his own inclinations to a sense of duty 
without repenting it, and always found himself more sub- 
stantially unhappy for liaving, exerted himself for the pub- 
lic good ! We all combated this atrocious heresy the best 
way we could; but he maintained it with an air of sin- 
cerity, and a half-earnest, half-humorous face, and a dex- 
terity of statement that was quite striking. I wish you 
could have seen his beaming eye and benevolent lips kin- 
dling as he answered us, and dealt put his natural, familiar 
repartees with the fearlessness as if of perfect sincerity, 
and the artlessness of one who sought no applause, and 
despised all risk of misconstruction ; and the thought that 
this was the leader of the English House of Commons,— ^no 
speculator, or discourser, or adventurer,^-but a man of 
sense and business, of the highest rank, and the largest 
experience both of affairs and society. We had also a 
great deal of talk about Nelson, and Collingwood^ and 
other great ^commanders, whom he knew in his youth, and 
during his father's connection with the navy ; and all of 
whom he characterized with a force and simplicity which 
was quite original and striking. I would have given a 
great deal to have had a Boswell to ta^ke a note of the 
table talk ; but it is gone already. 

111. — To Mm Coekburn^ . 

13 Clarges Street, Wednesday Night, 
2l8t Maroh, 1832. 

My dear Jane — I am s6rry to hear that you have again 
been suffering, although it is with great pride that I learn 
that you bear the restraints and inconveniences of your 
situation with your usual cheerful magnanimity. I assure 
you I have not forgotten your kind sympathy with me in 
ray paiinful experiences of last autumn, nor the sweet con- 
solation it afforded me in a period of great gloom and de- 
pression. I i^ish I could make any adequate return to 

196 LIF8 0¥ LOai> JBFtBET. 

yon now. But you know the affection I have always had, 
and always shall have, for yoa, siek or well, married or 
immarried, young or old. I wish I had ai^y tiling very 
liyely to tell you. But my life of late has been Tery 
nearly as imiform, and I faney still more n^some than 
yours. Getting up (with difEbulty) at a little before ten, 
I usually found ten or fifteen letters, to read ;. and before 
I had got half through them, was obliged to run down to 
a committee, where I was shut up till after four, when the 
House met, and seldom got finally home till after two 
o'clock in the morning. Qne-half of the time I managed 
to pair off from seven till nine, when I got some dinner, 
and lay flat on the sofa for an hour after it« But this 
could only be done when there was bo urgent or ticklish 
business; and when it could not, I was obliged to gobble 
down one tough chop, and a wineglass full of water ; as 
meagre a meal in short as I have seen waiting by the side 
of your couch, when you had reasons of a different klnd^ 
for your regime. Charley and her mother have the com- 
fort of a more leisurely existence, and seem to spend their 
time very tolerably, in driving about, and walking in the 
parks, and visiting, and going to flower gardens^ and 
shops, and exhibitions.- They are both very well, and 
have just about as many peeps at the splendour and 
vanity of a. gay London life, as to excite their imagina- 
tions, without corrupting their tastes, or wearying them 
out. They know a good many people now, and might 
know a great number more, if they would take the trouble. 
But they^re indolent, I think, in this sort of cultivation, 
and reserve all their intimacy and affection for their old 
cherished and tried friends in Scotland — ^for which I can- 
not much blame them. 

I cannot tell you what longing look^ I turn to my own 
dear home ; nor with what sinkings of heart I contemplate 
the chances and obstacles that still stand in the way of 
our return. I trust, however, that we shall get back 


about midsummer, or at all events in July; atid that jou 
and I may sit by the bath at Bonaly, a.nd under the 
shade at Graigcrook, before the sweets of another autumn 
pass away. The weather here has been more backward 
than with yott, though within these few days it has mel^ 
lowed into spring feeling. There aa*e young lambs skip- 
pifig in the pazJcs, where the grass is as green as emeralds, 
.and thou^ there are but few buds on ^he old forest trees, 
fldl tiie shrubs ar^ alive, and the almonds begin to shew 
their red blossoms in the gardens. Yqu will be sorry to 
hear that poor old Fer^* is so ill that I fear he will die 
very soon. I have made great efforts to get him shipped 
off to Scotland, where he wishes much to ff) ; but the qua- 
rantine regulations are so absurdly severe, that in spite of 
all my influance at the privy council, I have not been able 
to get a passage for him, and he is quite unable to travel 
by laaid. He has a brother here in town, and our Scotch 
maidens are all very kind to him. He has decided water 
in the ehest, and swelling in all his limbs. The doctors 
say he may die any day, and that it is scarcely possible 
he <5an recover. . 

Tell your father (that will give you consequence in his 
eyes) that our Scotch Reform Bill will not be brought on 
for ten days or a fortnight after the English one is passed, 
and probably not till after it passes the second reading in 
the lords ; and that I do not want any advice about the 
number of members generally, or of county members to be 
allowed to Scotland, but that I shall be thankful for his 
opinion on the other points I mentioned to him in my 
letter of yesterday. 

We have been dining in a Scotch family way, with 
Richardson, at Hampstead to-day ; and keeping the fast 
and humiliation over an excellent dinner, and in a good 
flow of gay and hopeful talk — which I think the most 
laudable celebration. 

* His seryant. TMs was during the cholera alarm. 


' Cholera is far worse here than at Edinburgh^ but it 
excites yerj little sensation, and scarcely any alarm. 
Among the better classes, at all events, its ravages are not 
at all formidable, and there seems to be a general expecta- 
tion that they will never be very formidable. 

If you do not get well soon, my dear Jane, tell yonr 
father (and your mother, too) that we all think you ought 
to be brought up here, for the benefit of London advice — 
which, with all our nationality, it is impossible to doubt, 
must be, and is better than any that can be had elsewhere, 
both from the great profits attracting all the very clever 
men, and from the far greater range of practice and ex- 
perience that is here open to them. If they will trust you 
with us, we could rig you out with a nice little couch in 
Charley's room, and answer for kind and judicious care of 
you. It would be an infinite delight to us all to see you 
blooming out in your natural health, under our eyes and 

God bless and keep you always, my kind pure-hearted 
child.— Ever very affectionately. 

Write me a line when it is quite convenient, if it be not 
irksome or troublesome to you^ but not otherwise. 

112. — To Mrs. BvAherfurdj EdinhurgTu 

London, 13 Clarges Street, 
1st April, 1882, 

You must not scold, but pity me, my dear Sophia. You 
do not believe that I am in any danger of forgetting you, 
or (though I do not write often to you) that I am ^indifferent 
about being remembered. You know better things, and 
are yourself of better principles, than to nourish such 
unworthy suspicions. You know how I am hurried and 
worried, and how little time I have to do any thing I like. 
And then I have occasion to write to Cockburn almost 
every day, and naturally take occasion to pour out all my 
gossip to him, of which I take it for granted that he retails 


as much as there is any demand for in your market. I 
do not believe, indeed, that the details of an insignificant 
existence were ever so fully recorded. If they had only 
been addressed to youy they might have come nearer the 
standard of Swift's Journal to Stella. But being noted 
down for the satisfaction of a matter-of-fact male creaturci 
I am afraid they will read rather like the precis of a daily 
paper ; , though, after all, it is the want of any good con- 
temporary daily paper that makes Swift's Journal so in- 

I will not fatigue you with politics, — the said daily 
papers will give you enough of that; and there is not 
much, I fear, in my private life which it would amuse you 
to hear of. If I had no home, and no dear friends at 
that distant home, I should like London very w^ll. Being 
naturally social, and having outlived all pretrasions, I am 
amused with its variety, and quite out of the reach of its 
mortifications. I find a great number of people who are 
very pleasiog, and very kind to mej and the very circum- 
stance that it is n6t my home they inhabit, reconciles me to 
their constant disappearance in the rapid whirl of that 
society. Its enormous extent, and the rapidity of its 
movement, make it difficult to conceive how it can ever be 
a home to anybody. Even if a small circle attempt to 
join hands and keep together in its eddies, they are soon 
drifted asunder, and reduced to hail each other from the 
breakers as they rush past in their opposite courses. The 
only chance is for one pair to cling close, like waltzers, 
and whirl Vmrtgly among the whirleirs* . But this will 
scarcely answer for a lifetime. 

I have not lately seen any new people, and have been 
mostly with the Hollands and my neighbours, the Miss 
Berrys, where I have the advantage of seeing most of the 

Tory leaders. I dined there the other day with , 

who passes for the most classical beauty of the day, and 
who is a very good sultana, plump Grecian, and imperious 


— ^finely ^st features, but of a broad and massive stamp, 
large dark eyes, and wavy braids of dusky sUning hair* 
I did not ^t aear her, and was obliged to go away early, &c» 
We went out yesterday to din^e with Emily Hibbert, at 
Richmond, where I saw the celebrated beauty of the 
North Biding of Yorkshire, of whom I heard a great deal 
when I was down at my election at Melton last year. She 
is a ^.^ — -.. very fair, tall, graceful, and prettily stupid, 
with gracious manners and a very sweet voice ; uud yet I 
did not think her charming. Then she is a little prosy in 
her talk ; and though she has been a great 4eal abroad, 
and is of very ancient blood, certainly has not a very dis- 
tinguished air. But what do you care about jber ? oir I 
either, for that matter. We called on your friend Nancy 
Elphinstone, who was as natural, emphatic, and fond of 
you as ever. We hare promised to go And dine with ier 
the very first day that is vacant, &c. ^ . ^ 

lis. — To Lord CocJchum, 

Haatlsgg, 2^th Aprll^ lSa2. 

My dear C— I have been out of London for six days, 
and have tliought nothing of politics or business since I 
turned my back on it, till your letter of the 20th was 
brought to me this morning, and I do not mean to think 
or say any thing of the kind yet. God forbid ! We came 
to Sev«n Oaks on Friday, and walked all over the magni- 
ficent domains of Knowle next morning, — a house begun 
in King John's time, and finished in Elizabeth's, and ,with 
finishing and furnishing very entire of both eras. In the 
evening we came to Tunbridge Wells, where we staid till 
yesterday, in the loveliest weather, and came down here 
yesterday in something of a fog; and here we are in a 
new hotel, so close to the sea that you may spit into it 
from the windows, which is a great convenience, and with 
boats and sloops sleeping about in the bay, or hauled up 
on the pebbles, for they have no quay or harbour of any 


sort, but merely pull up pretty larg'e vessels with a wind- 
lass and leave them, heaving and scattered about, like 
wrecked things, in a most wild and disorderly manner. 
People live, too, all night in these grounded hulks, and 
the lights in them after dark have a curious effect from 
our windows. This is a very curious and picturesque 
town, partly, very old, and partly very new. The coast is 
chiefly, like Dover, a range of bare- perpendicular sand- 
stone rock, at least 200 feet high, generally quite close to 
the beach, with occasional narrow green ravines between. 
Into one of the largest of these the old town is packed, 
and spreads its wings of tall narrow houses along part of 
the cliffs on both sides, with only a little esplanade between 
them and the surf, and with their backs within 50 feet of 
the bare overtopping rook behind. The new buildings are 
a little way off, where the cliffs recede, and room has been 
made in many places by cutting them back. Very gay 
showy places they arC'— almost as fino as the Regent's 
Park Terraces in London, and stuck up on terraces, too, 
in some places. The buildings stretch near half a mile, 
and were begun within these seven years. There are bits 
of a good old Norman castle on the cliff, and magnificent 
downs, marked with Roman and British camps, along the 
heights, with the greenest grass, and the whitest sheep to 
eat it, that you ever set eyes on ; add a long row of mar- 
tello towers, looklog massive and black along the white 
sands toward Beachyhead, and you have an exact landscape 
of the channel. We return to Tunbridge to-morrow, and 
to London on Friday, though only to pass into Hertford- 
shire for a few more days* idleness. I have been walking 
and climbing all day, and yet feel more dyspeptical than 
when I was in the Dorset committee all day, and in the 
Honourable House all night. 

Everybody, I hear, is out of town, and yet I gather that 
the Tories are exulting, and that our premature exultation 
has subsided. 


114. — To Lord CocTcbum. 

London, 2d Angost^ 1832. 

My dear C. — Men are to grow profligate and irregular 
when the world is drawing to a close, and so I find it is 
with me. These dregs of the session go against one's 
Stomach, and I try oftener than usual to make them pass 
from me. I have been dining out, and risking countings 
out, by not coming back till late; aud to-day I am tempted 
to run as far as Ham with Burdett and George Sinclair, 
in spite of an ominously thin house, and the tail of tho 
Irish tithes in perspective. I hope all blunders about 
schoolmasters, and clerks, and half-crowns, are now settled, 
and that the machinery is fairly at work, grinding claim- 
ants into voters with due facility and dispatch, &c. 

For Heaven's sake, let no friend of mine pay^ or leTid 
for an hour, any part of the half-crown to claimants on 
my interest. Nothing can he liker bribery, and I wish 
not to approach within measureless distances of that 
honour, &c. 

115. — To Lord Cockbum. 

Londqn, 8th Angast, 1832. 

For my comfort^ there are still o^ore flaws and awkward- 
nesses in the English act; to correct one of which, a very 
awkward attempt Tjras made last night, but quite unsuccess- 
fully. The torpor and apathy of voters to register, or to 
make the qualifying payments of votes and taxes, is alto- 
gether astounding and disgusting, and Heaven knows what 
the result will be. Here in London I do not believe one^ 
^ fourth of those substantially qualified will be found to have 
come forward, and in the counties, I believe, there wUl be 
nearly a half who have hung back out of mere laziness. 
This makes me a little anxious about Edinburgh after all. 
If Blair has been vigilant in getting 2000 registered, may 


he not run one of us hard? I delight in Abererombie's 
manly good sense and success, but I must lose no time in 
coming to look after my interest, or he will steal all the 
second votes I had reckoned on from the Tories and Radi- 
cals. I lament the procession, "*" but of course cannot re- 
pudiate. What am I to do with my females? 

116. — To Mr. Emp%<m. 

Oaigcrook, 26th Augast, 1832. 
My dew E. — I hope you take it as a sure sign of my 
wretchedness that I do not write to you. Not exactly 
wretchedness at being away from you, or sufiFering from 
this Pontic exile, but wretchedness from having still less 
leisure to do any thing I like to do than when I had 
glimpses of you in London. I have had such heaps of 
letters to answer, such crowds of committee men to thank 
and visit, so many friends to dine with, and for the last 
four days, such meetings and speechifyings to electors, 
that I sometimes begin to wish for the leisure of Clarges 
Street and Westminster, where I had at least the protec- 
tion of insignificance and obscurity. I have had one great 
meeting, and seven moderate ones, and I am to have fif- 
teen more, that is, meetings of the electors in each ward 
of the city. They are generally held in churches, and ter- 
minate, with great propriety, in a catechism. I delivered 
three discourses yesterday with good approbation, and was 
thought very skilful in my responses. I refused to pledge 
myself^ except to principles, and am very handsomely sup- 
ported. We have near 7000 claims entered, of which 
6000 are good, and of those they say near 4000 will be for 
Abercrombie, and near 5000 for me. This at least is the 
estimate of my committees, and, though* probably a little 
sanguine, I do not think it can be very far wrong. I 

* An election procession into Edinburgh which his constituents had 
artanged, but which he contrived to escape. 


fthall searcel J gat thrangh mj fifteen meetmgs till late ia 
next wedc, when I ekall fly^ I think, from this tiresome 
work) to my Kaiades and Oreades at Loeh Lomond, whom 
it is a great pity tiiat I oFer qnitted* 

In the mean time, and attendant mieux^ 1 am agreeably 
disappointed in this here Craigcrook. It is muoh leas 
rough, and rugged, and nettley, and thistley, than I ex- 
pected, and really has an air that I should not be ashamed 
to expose to the gentler part of polished friends from the 
south. It has rained a little every day, but nothing to sig- 
nify, and there is a crystal clearness over the steep shores 
of the Frith, and a blue skyishness on the distant moun- 
tains of the west, that almost make amends for your 
emerald lawns and glorious woods of Richmond and Koe- 
hampton. Well, and so good night. I have been walking 
* in my garden and offering my quiet little heathen homage 
to Uiat serene Jupiter, to whom a truly devout spirit can- 
not help paying a small tribute of devotion on such a Sun- 
day night. I cannot send this till to-morrow, so you lose 
nothing by my going to bed. 

Tuesdat/ morningy 28^A. — ^I had not time for a word yes- 
terday ; having again to perform service in thr^e chapels, 
two in the morning, and one, to my especial annoyance, 
at seven' o'clock in the evening, when all Christian people 
should be at dinner ; and now I am going to a church 
meeting, and so good bye ! 

Five o'cloch — I preached near two hours, and very few 
people were asleep, and I have five meetings for to-mor- 
row, all in holy places. How is it possible that I should 
write gossip to you, or even to any woman alive ! 

Tell me about your own little en Espagne — that 

shadowy, mystical vision of a that hovered like a 

meteor over your head, and filled it with dreams of reform. 
Tell me too of Macaulay's coarse reality of Leeds, and that 
Sadler is not likely to defeat him by his counterfeit and 
dishonest ultra-radical story. And then, gossip though it 


be» tell me tS tlii^t « bright vision of the guarded mount/' 
irho M looks tofward Nomancos and.Bayona'a hold," &e. 

Tell me, moreorer, of the Spring Rioes, and in which 
of the three kingdoms they are at this present writing, and 
whether the^ are imtending, and ever incline their hearts 
hitherward*. iioreoYerf of Malthns^ and Malthnsia junior 
and senior, whait' tidings ? and of that great citj which 
was London, and the desolations thereof; and Tommy 
Moore, and whether he is to he of Limerick; and Samuel 
Rogers, and whe^er he is yet of this world. 

And so take pitj on lae, and comfort me with soft 

We are all well, did I tell you that ? and that the Char- 
lottes are enjoying their leisure and idleness with a most 
malicious intenseness^ from its contrast with my great 
labours, wMch are n<^ in the Lord, though mostly in bis 
houses, and so quid plura f I am chilly, with congealing 
sw^t, and am about to ride forth in a wet east wind, which 
may end in cholera ; but any thing would 'be a relief^ 
God bless you. — ^Ever yours. 

117w — Ta Lord Ooeklurn. 

liOndon, llth April, 1888. 

Tott think me a very desponding poHtician^; and per- 
haps I anu Bat I am far nearer right than the sanguine, 
if there are still any such. I venture, therefore, to say 
agaix^, that I think the government and the country are 
in the greatest possible hazard;, that there is great ground 
to think that the Lords will not pass our Lrish Church Bill 
in such a state as that the ministers can own it. And then 
we are pledged,, and without pledge, necessitated to resign ; 
though what is to eome after us, but almost instant anarchy, 
no man can conjecture. 

Independently of this, the pressure of the movement 
iq>on currency, taxes,. English Church reform, and lots of 

Vol. II.— 18 


other things, is daily drawing off the dregs of our popu- 
larity out of doors, and sending men off in the House in 
piques and pets to the right hand and to the left. 

The result of this Gloucester election shows that there 
is a setting of the tide in wealthy places back to Toryiun ; 
and though nothing can be so absurd aud malignant as 
what the Times has been writing against us for the last few 
days, it is no doubt quite true that our hold on the people 
is growing less and less. The absurdity is in supposing 
that it depends on the wiU of the ministry whether the 
things they want done shall be or not. They abuse us for 
not making an instant radical reform, both of English and 
Irish Church, &;c. ; and yet it will soon be seen, I take it, 
that we cannot carry even a slight endowment of the lat- 
ter, and the obstacle to our carrying that, and fifty other 
things, is nothing less than the existence of the King and 
the House of Lords. 

What intense apes our provincial censors, and thorough, 
simple, sweeping, reformers are ! God bless you. 

118. — To Lord Cockbum. 

London, 16th July, 1838. 

My dear C. — ^Not much more to tell you, &c. I break- 
fasted to-day at Rogers's with Macaulay and S. Smith ; 
both in great force and undaunted spirits. Mac. is a mar- 
vellous person. He made the very best speech that has 
been made this session on India, a few nights ago, to a 
House of less than fifty. The Speaker, who is a severe 
judge, says he rather thinks it the best speech he ever 
heard. Our attendance was growing thinner; but this 
crisis has brought back many, and I have no doubt we 
shall have 450 in the House on Thursday, without a call. 
The weather is very hot and beautiful now. I wish I were 
lolling on one of my high shady seats at Graigcrook, list- 
ening to the soothing wind among the branches ! And yet 
it is shocking to think how much all that sceiie is disen- 


chanted by its vicinitj to my constituents. The fleshy 

presence of Mr. ^ Mr. — 7-, and Mr. , by whom 

I am baited daily, helps, I doubt not, to enliven that im- 
pression. Murray gave dinner to the deputation yester- 
day, but ingeniously contrived not to come among them^ 
"but left them to be entertained by William and Mary. I 
fortunately am known to inhabit a house in which there are 
only ten spoons, and as many plates, and to give no din- 
ners. I see no reason in the world why they should not 
settle their affairs with the provost and the creditors ; and 
yet, I now think that they will not settle. The other party 
is far the most reasonable, &c. 

My dear C. 

119.— To Lord Cockburn. 

Stamnore, 80th July, 1888. 

We came here yesterday ; a most lovely evening ; and 
I felt as I walked on the airy common, under the brilliant 
moon, and the orange glow of twilight, as if I should soon 
be well again. But I had but a feverish night, and have 
been full of qualms and sickings most part of to-day. 
However, we drove over to Harrow, and saw an exhilara- 
ting spectacle of the scholastic youth mustering, like swarm- 
ing bees, for the holiday up-breaking. The aristocratical 
air of it put my humble Scottish recollections rather to the 
blush. There were sixty or seventy carriages, half of them 
with coronets, and prancing horses, and consequential 
grooms, and heaven knows what besides. But the gentle 
bearing of the boys themselves, the affectionate leave- 
takings, the kind words to the old dames, the respectful 
deference to the smiling simpering masters, were all as 
much above our ruder state, in a moral point of view, as 
the other were in a worldly. And then the galloping of 
gigs, and the shouting from crowded barouches, as they 
swept, with their light-hearted .cargoes through the shady 


hkwnSy was beautifal to see and to hear. It was grcfat luck 
to have fallen on such a spectacle in an aecidental drive^- 

120.— To Lord Coehbum. 

liondoff, Fridiay Nigkt, 
28d AugoBt, 1888. 

My dear G. — Our bilk were accepted in the Commons 
this afternoon, with the Lords' amendments, such as they 
be, on their heads, and now only wait the royal assent to 
be law. And so there is one job done, end to self- 
election in Scotch burghs ! ! and a beginning to sox&ething 
else, which may be better or worse as it pleases God ; and 
so I may go and divert myself, I hope, for a week or two ; 
and if I can get my bills paid, and my trashy papers 
packed up, I shall be off before two o'clock, and sleep at 
Malehanger to-morrow. I shall stay there till Sunday, 
and then proceed to see a god-daughter I have near Bath ; 
and I think it would be a comfort if you would write, on 
receipt of this, a few lines to the post-office tiiere, where! 
shall be till after Wednesday. I then cross the heart of 
England into Yorkshire, where I mean to visit Morehead, 
and probably the Cayteys, and may finish my wanderings 
by crossing over to Brougham, and looking In on the Mar- 
shalls at Ulleswater, and Mrs. Fletcher, and Wordsworth, 
at Grasmere and Bydale. But this picturesque part of 
my plan is the most problematical. If it is left out, I 
have promised to cross from Newcastle, and see Bichard- 
son near Jedburgh. Why should you not come and join 
us there ? where we might have a quieter and more tran- 
quil discussion on the sum of things than in the too jovid 
re-unions of Edinburgh. But I shall write about this again 
when I know more of my own mind and body. 

The House will adjourn to-morrow till Wednesday, and 
the prorogation will not be later than Thursday. We de- 
spatched all our work to-day before three o'clock, and then 
I left farewell cards at the ministers, and made a few idle 


calls on ladies, and went, at six o'clock^ to a quiet dinner 
at the Hollands, with Rogers, Lord J. Rassell, and Miss 
Fox, and so finished tn j London campaign with a bonne 
hoiiche oi a very mild and agreeable flavour. Empson has 
been sitting with us since, and altogether, I do not^part 
from those things without a certain sadness. I shall go to 
bed, iatnd tell you more in the morning. 

Saturday morning^ 24^A.— We are just setting forth, and 
I hear no more news, or indeed, any thing hut the tinkling 
of departing sovereigns, and trampling of obsequious 
creditors* It is rather a gloomy day, but mild and calm, 

And so,4n good earnest, ends our official correspond- 
ence, which has not, I suspect, had a true official character. 

121.— Tb Lord Oockbum. 

Malshanger, 26t]i August, ^833. 
My dear 0.— The load of London and Parliament is at 
last lifted from my life, and I have had two days of natu- 
ral existence. We got here about dark on Saturday. I 
drank too much coffee, and slept ill ; lounged about with 
Jane all yesterday, hallowing our Sabbath day with quiet* 
ness ; and to-day I have driven in an open carriage, and 
ridden upon a pony like any rustic squire, for near five 
hours together ; and have been to see SUchesteVj the largest 
and loftiest Roman work above ground in Qreat Britain. 
There is a wall of more than a mile in length, and varying 
from twenty to seven or eight feet in height, all overhung 
with tr^es and ivy, and rough with masses of flint and 
strange lumps of rude stone. It enclosed either a Roman 
town or a great castrum stativum ; and there is a small 
amphitheatre in Que corner, with the arena still quite flat, 
but the sloping sides completely grown up with mud. The 
whole stands upon a high lonely part of the country, with 
only a rude low church and a single farm-house in the 
neighbourhood, but commanding a most lovely, and almost 

18* O 


boundless view over woody plains and blue skyey ridges 
on all sides of it. It is about the most striking thing I 
ever saw ; and the effect of that grand stretch of shaded 
wall, with all its antique roughness and overhanging wood, 
lighted by a low autumnjal sun, and the sheep and cattle 
feeding in the green solitude at its feet, made a picture 
not soon to be forgotten, &;c. 

122.— To Mr. Umpsan. 

EUUn, 2d Augnsi 1884. 
My dear E. — This is a great disappointment, and, after 
all, whf/ were you so faint-hearted after coming so far? 
Rain ! Oh, effeminate cockney, and most credulous brother 
of a most unwise prognosticator of. meteoric changes. 
Though it rained in the Beotia of Yorkshire, must it ra;in 
also in the Attica of Argyll ? Why, there has not been a drop 
of rain in the principality of Macallummore for these ten 
days; but, on the contrary, suCh azure skies, and calm 
coerulean waters, such love and laziness-inspiring heats by 
day, and 8uch starlight rowings and walkings through fra- 
grant live blossoms, and dewy birch woods by night ; and 
then such glow-worms twinkling from tufts of heath and 
juniper, such naiads sporting on the white quartz pebbles, 
and meeting your plunges into every noonday pool '^ and 
such herrings at breakfast, and haggises at dinner, and 
such pale pea-green mountains, and a genuine Highland 
sacrament ! The long sermon in Gaelic, preached out of 
tents to picturesque multitudes in the open air, grouped on 
rocks by the glittering sea, in one of the mountain bays of 
those long withdrawing lochs ! Tou have no idea what you 
have missed; and for weather, especially, there is no 
memory of so long a tract of calm, dry, hot weather at this 
season; and the fragrance of the mountain hay, and the 
continual tinkling of the bright waters ! But you are not 
worthy even of the ideas of these things, and you shall have 
no more of them,^but go unimproved to your den at Hay- 


leybury, or your stye at the temple, and feed upon th6 
vapour of your dungeon. 

When we found you had really gone, back from your 
YOWy we packed up for Loch Lomond yesterday, and came 
on here, where we shall stay in the goc^ Breadalbane coun- 
try till Monday, and then return for a farewell peep at our 
naiads, on our way to Ayrshire, and thence back to Graig- 
crook about the 18th. (Write always to Edinburgh.) I 
sent a letter to Napier for you, which he returned two day^ 
ago. After that I could not tell where to address you. I 
left instructions at the Arrochar post-office for the forward- 
ing of your letters to Bice. Only two newspapers had 
come for you when we came away, and these I generously 
bestowed in my last. And now it is so hot that I cSnnot 
write anymore, but must go and cool myself in the grottos 
of the rocky Dochart, or float under the deep shades that 
overarch the calm course of the translucent Lochy, or sit 
on the airy summit where the ruins of Finlarig catch the 
faint fluttering of the summer breeze. All Greek and He- 
brew to you, only more melodious — Poor wretch ! 

We have been at Finlarig and at Auchmore ; both very 
beautiful, but the heat spoils all, as I fear it may have our 
salmon. God bless us, I am dyspeptic and lumbaginous, 
and cannot sleep, and I lay it all on the heat, when I dare- 
say old age and bad regime should have their share, &c. 

Why should not you and Malthus come down to our so- 
lemnity on the 8th September ? After your long services, 
a fortnight's holiday could not be grudged, especially for 
the purpose of making you better teachers^ and getting 
solutions to aU your difficulties. I hope Mrs. Sommerville 
will come. I had a glimpse of my beautiful Mrs. Grant 
before leaving Edinburgh, and grudge such a sultana to 
India. Write to me soon. My Charlottes send their love 
in anger to you. — ^Ever yours. 


12S.-^To Mrs. Otaig. 

Edinburgh, 26th D«cember, 1&34. 

If I had BO other motive to do my duty in a superior 
way, I think that would be sufficient, and I am half angry 
with you for looking back upon flentimentg which I would 
do any thing to justify, and cannot but wish you should 
cherish as pieces of youthfxd folly, to be laughed at and 
renounced in maturer years. no, my dear child, do not 
repress any generous enthusiasm which will remain ; and 
believe that the b^st part, not only of happiness but of 
wisdom, must be built upon that foundation. 

I hare certainly had rather hard w(»:k, but I do not find 
it irksome. Even the early rising, which I dreaded the 
miost, proves very bearable. Certainly, in the whole of 
my past life, I never saw so many sunrises as since the be* 
ginning of November ; and they have been inexpressibly 
beautiful. We have holiday now, however, for a week or 
two, and I sleep over the glorious dawning, and have lei- 
sure to dream a little, and to read my beloved poets^ and 
to write to those I love. 

We are all tolerably well, and very contented, and social, 
and happy (if one may use so bad a word). You know we 
have not much spite or envy among us, and have> dispo- 
sition to be kind, which scarcely ever fails to ipake life 
soft and easy ; and then that old undestructible love of 
nature, and sympathy with sunsets and moonshine, which 
is so far from depending on youthful enthusiasm, that it 
grows with years, and brightens when every thing wears 
dim. We shall see you in spring — see you all. I think 
we shall be up early in April, &c. 

12i.— To Mrs. D. Belden, 

Malshanger (HaatB), 29th April, 1886. 
My dear Fanny — ^We have been five weeks in London, 
and are now with an old friend, one stage on our way 


home to Edinburgh ; and Charlotte being lasj, and I (for 
once) in a state of undeniable idlenees, it comes to me to 
knake out our monthly despatch; Our last from your side 
is from Dr.iOeorge (of 16th March), written on his return 
from Charleston, which interested and amused, us very 
much. I am Very glad to find his general patriotism does 
not extend to the patronage of slavery, and* that he likes 
the cold and comforts of New York better than the lan- 
guid and imperfect luxuries of the South. The great use 
(and apology) of all patriotism is to make us pleased with 
oor actual lot, and anxious really to improve and exalt it. 
The evil is, it makes us abusive and unjust, now and then, 
because we are envious, to others. We are all growipg 
better,. I hope, and consequently, more alike and more in* 
dulgent. For my part, I am a reasonable cosmopolite, 
and am delighted to hear of the happiness of all in Ame* 
rica, especially of one family, to whocn I owe more than 
any other. It is a great gratification to me to see the 
unbroken and entire coj^diality in which all its members 
continue to live, and no small pride to think that I belong 
in some measure to the party. God bless you. 

London has answered very welL Our old friends have 
been very kind to us, and I go away confirmed in my pur- 
pose of spending a little time there every spring. Being 
there, for the first time without any serious task or occu- 
pation, I entered more largely into society than it was 
easy for me to do before ; and, at all events, crowded into 
these five weeks the sociality of a whole long session of 
Parliament. I had the good luck, too, to come at a very 
stirring time, and to witness the restoration to jpower of 
the party to which I was attached as long as it was lawful 
for me to belong to a party. From the height of my 
judicial serenity, I now affect to look down on those fac- 
tious doings, but cannot, I fear, get rid of old predilections. 
At any rate, I am permitted to maintain old friendships, 
and to speak with the openness of ancient familiarities 


with those I most love to meet in priyate. As you know but 
few of those we chiefly lived with, it would be of no use to 
give you a list of names, though it would include almost all 
who are much worth seeing in England. Tet we go back 
quite contented to our provincial duties and enjoyments. 
For the Charlottes, I should use a stronger word^ for I 
think they were rather surfeited with the stf r and brilliancy 
of .London. My more active and youthful nature stood 
the excitement better. We missed dear Malthus much in 
this busy scene, &e. 

I am going to make an addition to Craigcrook, and am 
pulling down so much of the house that I fear we shall not 
be able to inhabit there this year, so that we shall either 
go again on our travels, or try to find a house for three 
months in some wild corner of the West Highlands^ and 
live a solitary, plnbsophical, and savage life there, through 
the autumn. Just on leaving the tourbUlona of London, 
this scheme seems to have great attraction. But it may 
not be quite easy to put in practice, &c. God bless you 
both. — ^Ever aSectiquately yours. 

125. — To Lord Oockbum* 

Skelmorlie, 28tli Anjgnst, 1835. 
My dear C.-^A thousand thanks for your letter. When 
I say that parties are nearly as equally balanced out of 
Parliament as in it, I mean, of course, that I believe peo- 
ple would go, on an appeal to force, or any other decisive 
test of adhesion, pretty much in that proportion, not cer- 
tainly from pure independent individual liking or judg- 
ment, but under the probable (or certain) operation of the 
ordinary influences of wealth, fear, hate, interest, or old 
habit or prejudice, which will only gain strength instead 
of being dissipated by such a crisis. In Scotland, where 
there is more intellectual activity and far more conceit of 
individual wisdom, the proportion, I^am satisfied, is differ- 
ent. But, from the best reports I can get, I believe a de- 


cided majority of the peasantry in England would adhere 
to the Conservatiyes — not, certainly, from any conviction 
of the justice of the cause, or any opinion (which they are 
utterly incompetent to form) of their own on the general 
interest, but from habit and prejudice, whicL are much 
better elements fpr enthusiasm and noble daring than the 
cooler suggestions of reason or love of right. Then, if 
you consider that the most efficient and only terrible part 
of the reforming body ia known (by friends and foes) to be 
hostile to monarchy, church, and peerage, and noyery safe 
advocates for property, (at least large property,) law, or 
the arts, it is difficult to suppose, that if the alternative 
actually occurs, whether to give them an irresistible pre- 
ponderance, or to seek shelter under a Conservative banner, 
with the certainty of their"*" granting more than half of all 
the reform^ which the wiser part of their present oppo- 
nents require, a very large body of these opponents should 
not go over to them and carry with them a proportional 
part of their own followers and numerical adherents. But 
whether this be so or not, it is to be doubted that t^e Con- 
servatives, if it once came to fighting, with wealth, disci- 
pline, the crown, the army, and the treasury with them, 
would make mince-meat of their opponents in a single 
year ; exterminate all the braye rebels, aAd thoroughly 
terrify the feeble. No doubt the horror of such an execvy 
4zony for I do not believe there would be any thing like 
fighting, would excite a deadly and fatal animosity, and 
probably drive some of the more generous allies of the 
crown over to the popular side. But as to any real gain 
to the cause of liberty or national prosperity, even from 
its ultimate^ success, I see nothing in any futurity to which 
I dan look forward, but the very reverse, &c. 

I have been delighting myself with Mackintdsh.t I 
only got the book two days ago, and have done nothing 

* The GondenrftUyes he mjoans. f His Memoirs. 


bat read it ever since. The richness of his mind intoxi- 
cates me ; and yet, do not yon think he ^vrould have been 
a happier man, and quite as useful and respectable, if he 
had not fancied it a duty to write a great book ? And is 
not this question an answer to your exhortation to me to 
write a little one? Perpend. I have no sense of duty that 
way, and feel that the only sure or even probable result 
of the attempt would be hours and days of anxiety and 
unwholesome toil, and a closing scene of mortification, &c. 

126.— To Dr. Morehead. 

Skelmorlie, Greenook, 80th Sept 1885. 
My Dear Doctor — I have been shamefully idle since I 
came here, and have done none of the fine things I have 
expected to do. Among others I thought t(f have made 
up all my arrears of correspondence, and poured myself 
out, in boundless 6panchments, to my old friends especially. 
And, behold, Z hay;e not written three letters in three 
months. I have been very anxious, however, to receive 
9omey and I assure you I have not forgotten my old friends, 
though I may appear to have z^glected them.. There are 
few I have thought of so often as you. This neighbour- 
hood, and this autumn leisure — the first Xhave had, I think, 
for twenty good years, bring fresh to my mind the many 
pleasant rambles we used to have together when we were 
less encumbered with cares, and more vacant from all ex- 
temal impre3sions. That love of nature, and sympathy 
with her aspects, which was the main source of my delight 
then, remains more unchanged, I believe, than any thing 
else about me, and still contributes a very large share to 
my daily enjoyments. I have been reading Homer, too, 
with as dutiful and docile devotion as we used to do in the 
old library window at Herbertshire, and with nearly as 
fresh a relish. I bathe, too, in the sea ; and trudge for 
six or seven miles at a stretch through mud and rain, with 


^ vigour which I think would still distance poor Dunter^ 
if he were alive to follow us. 

Well, but what I want to know about is, my dear Loc- 
key. I cannot tell how often I think of her, nor how 
much her heroic cheerfulness adds to the tender interest I 
take in her sufiferings, &c 

We have seen several of our friends at this old castle. 
We had first the Rutherfurds and the Gockburns; and 
then Mrs. Russell, and Thompson, and Pillans, and uncle 
John, and Jane Hunter, and all the Browns in detach* 
mentB, and Miss Lowden, and a certain Mr. R. Morehead ; 
and are expecting the Full^rtons, and a detachment of tho 
rich Marshalls of your county of York. We will break up 
our encampment soon after the 20th of October, make a^ 
stage of a few days at Langfine, and return to Edinburgli 
on 1st November. My Craigcrook buildings have beea 
roofed in for some time, and every thing finished but the 

You will see from the newspaper the progress of O'Con* 
nel through our peaceful land. But you will not read 
there (at least t hope not) that I dined with him at my 
neighbour Kelly's"^ a few days ago. After I accepted the 
invitation, which, like a good husband, I did chiefly to 
gratify Charlotte's curiosity, I had certain misgivings as 
to my judicial propriety, and a fear that I might be tucked 
up in his tail with a erowd of Glasgow and Greenock radi- 
os, and terrible toasts and speeches. But Wallace Wight 
dealt ' more handsomely by me, and we had a very small 
and strictly private party^ consisting of Sir Thomas Bris- 
bane, Sir John Maxwell, and ourselves, and not a word of 
politics, except a few, (uttered of course most constitution- 
ally,) by myself. He was perfectly tame and playful, in- 
deed, in his Irish robustious way. 

I try to avoid thinking of politics ; but it is impossible 

* Mr. Wallace of £eUv. 
Vol. n.-.19 


to be insensible to the perilous movements of the times. 
It is easy, however, to abstain from prosing about them. 
My wish and prayer is, that every thing tending to actual 
violence may be avoided ; not only for the present un- 
speakable evil, but because the certain issue of all such 
contests is the hateful tyranny of the conquering sword, 
under whatever banner it conquers. I think too that the 
Tory sword would be the heaviest, and its conquests con- 
sequently the most bloody. But those things are not to 
be thought of. 

How is my good patient Mrs. Finder? and when did 
she hear of her high-minded little apostle ? How is George 
coming on in his new vocation ? and my dear Margaret, with 
her schools and philanthropy? and Jane, David, Lizzie, 
and Phemy ? We were all very much pleased with Robert 
when he was here. He is thoughtful and ingenious, and 
has an evident ambition for intellectual excellence. We 
have heard nothing of your brother John for some time ; 
but according to our latest accounts, he was recovering 
steadily from his alarming attack, and again going about* 
We have had beautiful weather till within the last ten 
days ; but those have been one incessant tempest, ^he 
autumnal gales were never known so tedious. 

How do you come on with your parish? and are the 
pies or the prayers uppermost in the Sunday thoughts of 
your flock? Do you make any new sermons, or indulge 
in any new views? HavB you renounced poesy, as old 
Beeffy* used to call it? or taken to any other path of lite- 
rary ambition? Do you imbibe any zeal for farming, or 
take sufficient exercise in the open air? Poor old Dr. 
Gardner If He had all the amiableness of a child^ and I 
trust much of the happiness of one; so that he will need 
little changing to fit him for heaven. 

* Dalzell, Professor of Greek in Edinburgh, 
f An Episcopal clergyman in Edinburgh. 

TO MR. SPALBIira. 219 

God bless you all, with kindest remembrances. — ^Ever 
affectionately yours. 

127. — To Lord Cochburn. 

24 Moray Place, 6th January, 1886. ^ 
My dear C. — Our ^ood old chief'*' has promised to dine 
here on Thursday, at hal&past five exactly; and I am 
sure it would be a great pleasure Mo him to meet you and 
Bichardson at that time;. Richardson can have no other 
engagement; and if yon have any, you ought to break it^— 
the request of a guest of his age being as much entitled 
to be treated as a command as that of a royal person* 
Besides, he is to discourse De Senectute, which both you 
and I should begin to think an interesting subject. — Ever 

128.-70 William Spalding,y1[ Usq.y Advocate. 
(Now Professor of Logio and Rhetoric, St Andrews.) 

24 Moray Place, 23d May, 1836. 

Dear Sir — ^I am afraid I inust have appeared very im- 
polite, in not haying previously answered your obliging and 
interesting letter of the 11th. But you are aware that it 
came at the very commencement of my busy time ; and 
will easily understand that I should have been desirous, 
both of seeing Professor, Moir, and of looking into your 
little publication, before sending you an answer. 

I have not yet been able to see Mr. Moir; but I have 
run through your book, with very great satisfaction. 
Without professing to be a convert to all your opinions, I 
can safely say that I have been yery much struck with 
the spirit and originality of the whole performance; and 

* The Right Hon. William Adam, head or Chief Commissioner, as he 
was called, of dnr Jury Court. 

f Mr. Spalding, then a candidate for the Logic chair in Kdinbnrgh, 
had sent Lord Jeffrey a copy of his able and interesting *^ Letter on 
Shakspeare's authorship of The Two Noble Kinsmen." 


greatly delighted, both with your feeling and eloquent ex- 
position of the merits of our great dramatist, and the acute 
and discriminating analysis you have often so happily made 
of his means of pleasing. If I am not always satisfied with 
your logic, your rhetoric almost inrariably excites my ad- 
miration; and I cannot tell you how much I am gratified 
by finding another of the younger brethren of our profes* 
sion so fairly in the way of illustrating it by his literary 
distinction. With your permission, I shall request my 
friend Mr. Moir^ to give me the pleasure of an introduction 
to your personal acquaintance; when I hope we shall hare 
some pleasing talk about Shakspeare and his contempora^ 
ries. You will find me, I think, nearly as great an idola^ 
tor of his genius as yourself; but rather an unbeliever in 
the possibility of detecting his compositions, by internal 
evidence. I am inclined, too, to rank Fletcher consider- 
ably higher than you seem to do ; ai^d think the scene 
between the captive knights in the second act, which you 
admit to be all his, by far the finest in the whole play. I 
think you are quite right, however, in placing Shakspeare 
immeasurably above him, in inteUeetual vigour especially, 
even more than in high passion or burning fancy. The 
great want of Fletcher is want of common sense; the most 
miraculous gift of Shakspeare, his deep, sound, practical, 
universal knowledge of human nature, in all ranks, condi- 
tions, and fortunes. Yet in their merely pleasing^ and 
poetical passages, and in respect to their taste in composi- 
tion, I think they are astonishingly alike, and very much 
on a level. I do not see why Fletcher might not have 
written all the serious parts of the Winter's Tale; the first 
scenes of the king's jealousy especially, and those of th^ 
sheep'Shearing festival, beautiful as they are ; and I am 
sure, if you should make this the thesis of another critical 
epistle, you could make out quite as good a c^se for it as 

* George Moir, Esq., Adrooate. 


Jrov }^Y^ dcnie fbv, that of your actual election. Aatolycus, 
I admiti is a!>oye bia pitch; because be has too much sena^ 
aad shrewdness. Shakspeare has the higher tragic pas^ 
9io]i8 in far more perfection ; but, in pity, and mer^ ten- 
demesii^ I yentnre to think Fletcher quite his equal. Do 
bi;Lt look to some passages of the Page in Philaster, some 
of Aspatia in the Maid's Tragedy, and, above all, to tbe 
death of that noble boy in Bonduca, which I have always 
thought, or rather fblt, to be the most pathetic passage in 
English poetry. I must not indulge, however, any farther 
in this vein; though it may satisfy you that I take a hearty 
interest in the subject you have chosen for your debut. 

I ought not to conclude without saying a. word on your 
pretensions to the chair of Logic. In due time I have no 
doubt that you will establish a just title to an academical 
preferment, if this should continue to be an object of am- 
bition with you. But at present, and particularly with 
regard to the place which is now vacant, I am bound to 
say, that the more mature age and singular attainments 
of Sir William Hamilton would determine me, if I had any 
influence, to give him the prefereince. In the mean time, 
I think you have been well advised in bringing forward 
your pretensions ; as a fair and honourable means of attrapt- 
ing notice to your pursuits and quaHfieations, and thus 
entering your name on the << valued file,'-^ from which lite- 
rature, will hereafter itelect her champions and advocates. 

For my own part, I cannot but rejoice that you have 
taken a step which has procured me the pleasure of this 
correspondence. — ^Believe me always, &c. 

129. — Tq Andrew Butherfurdj Esq. 

€MtU Toward, Ist August, 1S36. 

My dear B. — We came on here from Loch Lomond, 

by Gaimdow and Strachur, on Friday, and we cross tOr 

morrow, if the stormy firth should be at all passable, to 

Largs, where we propose to linger, and treasure up re- 



membrances of Skelmorlie for the rest of the week^ and 
then proceed to Lahgfine, and be back at Craigcrook 
somewhere about the 18th. We have had mostly tem- 
pestuous weather, though with some hearenly glimpses, 
and are very comfortable here ; Eirkman'*'. having had the 
good taste not to ask any Glasgow beaux e9pr%t%y or rus- 
tic neighbours, to meet us, and being himself very socia- 
ble, sensible, and good-humoured, and having one fair 
daughter, with true dove's eyes, a soft voice, and an an- 
gelic expression. Then, being in a mood of diking no 
wine, our repasts are far more temperate than I could 
ever make them with that old man of the lake, and my 
heart, which had begun to flutter, being restored to com- 
parative tranquillity. I have been delightfully idle all 
along, having read to the extent of near five pages in 
Hallam, and not much more in Shelley. I am sorry to 
hear so poor an account of Mrs. Pillans, on Thomas's ac- 
count chiefly, and am glad you enjoy Midfield, and have 
some leisure to enjoy it. Do you know that I have bought 
Glermiston for something less than £16,000? and that I 
want you to take a lease of the house for the term of my 
life, and we shall run a tunnel through to Craigcrook, 
and glide unseen from hill to bower, like angels on a sun- 
beam. Now that is a thing to be thought of, or, at all 
events, to be talked about, if better may not be. I never 
thought of the thing till the day before I left home. Mr* 
Thomson of the Royal Bank told me it would be a good 
purchase, and I gave him power to conclude it for £16,000, 
and, on my arrival here, I found it was concluded. I hope 
I shall resist the temptation of ruining myself with im- 

I try to think little of politics, but the closing scene of 
this session is nervous, and agitates me a little in spite of 
myself. I think it has been a very important and inter- 

* Kirkman Finlay, Esq., of Caitle Toward. 


esting session, for, though not much has been dane^ a 
great deal has been resiited; and the waters have ap. 
peared to stagnate, anlj because they are accumulating 
for a greater outbreaks But we shall soon see now, &c. 

This is a fine plac^; a superb s^^ view, vast plantations, 
and an admirable hou§e. The whole drive from^Strachur 
beautiful. I escaped ^ith my life from/ the church at Ar- 
rochar, though the waUs were as black as mud with trick* 
ling water, and the floor soaking. There was a deputation 
of five persongf to Inversnaid, where 200 Highlanders 
turned out in thie rugged glen, and listened, for two 
hours, to a Gaelic sermon, under a heavy rain, and stand- 
ing up to the skirts of their kilts in wet heather — and yet 
nobody died. I, was not there — or else there must have 
been at least one. The new Edinburgh has just come 
here, and I have been reading part of a nice article on 
German literature, by George Moir. 

180. — To John liichardson^ E»q. 

Edinburgh, 28th November,' 1836. 

My dear Richardson — The melancholy announcement* 
of your letter did not come unexpected; b^t still it was a 
great shock. Your are quite right in thinking that she 
was very dear to us all. I do not^ believe a spirit ever re^ 
turned to its Maker more free of speck or corruption, or a 
more affectionate heart ever rested in death. 

This is in one sense a consolation, and the best consola- 
tion, but at the moment it aggravates the privation. God 
bless you and comfort you. What more can 1 say? Dear 
Hopfey must not marry for a while yet. 

With best love to her from us all. — Ever affectionate. 

* Of the death of Mrs. Richardson. 


131. — To Mr. EmpBon. 

Bdisbiirgh, ISOl 
Macaulay aeems to have got charminglj through his 
estimates. It is in thiags like these — the whole business 
of governments in quiet times; — that the goyernment is 
strong. It is ireak beoause there have been great con- 
stitutional, almost organic changes; and affected, not 
through overwhelming and paraly^ng foreey but by con- 
flict of opinions — ^in which there is now partly a revulsion, 
partly a revival, and chiefly a gradual /and growing split- 
ting and hiving off of seetions and shades, which were 
blended at first as against a common enemy. Do not you 
see that this is the course of all weak governments; first 
the destruction of old unquestioned authority by just and 
successful resistance ; s^i then the divisions which neces* 
sarily ensue among the different parties into which the 
conquerors naturally array themselves — ^^each in a great 
degree ignorant of its own actual following in the body, 
and usually overrating it. So it has ever been, since the 
feuds among the suc(^essors of Alexander or Charlemagne, 
down to those among the conquerors of .Louis Seize — or 
the earlier dissensions among the survivors of our majestic 
Cromwell. The former had room and verge enough to 
betake themselves to separate regions. In our narrower 
confines we had to fight it out, at home — and in many a 
doubtful conflict — till main force and fear brought about 
a strong government again ; and stupidity and want of in- 
terest and intellect restored for about eighty years the old 
hc^it of submission to authority. We are out of that now 
over all free Europe, and are once more in the sphere of 
weak governments,— ^that is, weak for carrying or resist- 
ing any speculative or theoretical changes, or for repress- 
ing the vexatious cross play of intractable sects and 
cliques ; but strong for maintaining clear rights and de- 
molishing established abuses; — governments which mtist 


be creditably administered and always growing better, 
and nnder wbicli all who are not too impatient or crazily 
in loye with their own nostrums, may live in peace and 
hope. Yon understand ? 

132.— 2^{) Andrew EiUheTfurdj Usq., (then in London.) 

Sdinbvrgfa, 17th April, 1887. 

My dear R. — ^Now you are in the middle of it ! and a 
pretty stirring centre it is. I envy you a little, but con- 
sole myself with thinking that I am more tranquil, and a 
little more secure where I am. Whatever happens, how- 
ever, you will be amused, and interested, and instructed, 
more than if you had stayed at home, and if you should 
come back ^* odious in tooolleny" before the middle of May, 
I am sure you will be all the better, and the happier, and 
the fitter for future service, for this escapade. Indeed, I 
am not sure that it will not be better for you to have thus 
made your debUt without incurring any responsibility — ^to 
have gone through a sort of rehearsal^ at the great House, 
and, along with the great actors, without the agitation of 
an actual compearance before a difficult audience. 

I thank you for your letter, which is the only intelligible 
thing I have seen on the actual state of affairs ; but I am 
not so unreasonable as to expect you to write often. Tour 
time is much better employed, and I am a patient waiter 
upon Providence ; yet I should like to have some of your 
first impressions of men you have not seen particularly 
before, and of the tone of any new society, but only at 
your leisure. 

I know you will be generous enough not to abuse me to 
Theresa. You should let hfer take you some night to the 
Berrys. I want you to see their circle ; and also to like 
her. She is not only a knowing and^ clever woman, but 
really a kind and affectionate. Ask Theresa. I hope 
you will breakfast with Rogers, too. I know you will go 
to old Wishaw. Tell me, too, about the Lord Advocate, 


and of the condition jou find him in^ Olenlee^ I under- 
stand, is prettj well recovered again, and has begun to 
read his papers for advising ; but it>is rather thought he 
cannot do long — something organically wrong about \he 
stomach ; but long and short are but comparative. Poor 
Eeay'*' has come back from Glasgow, another victim to that 

abominable court-house, or to » — 's prolixity, it is not 

dear which, &c. 

We are all tolerably well ; exercising a frugal and tem- 
perate hospitality at Oraigcrook — ^reading idle books^ and 
blaspheming the weather. We have had Jane Grant ten 

days with us, and the — ' half as long* Yesterday we 

had and Lady . They parted coldly, though 

he goes to Aberdeen to-day ; and I think there has been a 
rupture; so you may find her bosom's throne vacant for 
you when you come back. Gockbum is still in the Cockno 
burn, with the Dean, at Glasgow. Fullerton has returned, 
well and sociable; he dines with us to-morrow, &c. 

Among other things, I wish you could get some better 
arrangements for these remits upon Estate Billsf to our 
learned body. Why should the remit be to the Lord Or- 
dinary ofiEiciating on the biUs ? 

183. — To John Cat/j Usq., Sheriff of Linlithgowshire. 

24 Moray Place, Uik Aagust, 1837. 
My dear Mr. Cay-— I thank you very sincerely, for your 
kindness in sending me a copy of your valuable publica- 
tion.]: But you really make me feel ashamed by the way 
in which you speak of my exertions in preparing the mo- 
mentous act which is the subject of your commentary, or 
of my reception of your many most obliging and judicious 

* James Keay, adTOcate, who had gone to Glasgow on an important 
oiTil trial, and was taken ill. 

f From the Hoose of Lords. 

X A Tolome containing the Decisions of the Sheriffs in the Registration 


That I was conscientiously anxious to embody in clear 
expression the provisions on which the government had 
agreed, and in so far as possible to ezclu'de cavil and 
evasion, I of cour80 expected you to allow; but when I 
look to the multitude of perplexing questions which have 
notwithstanding arisen, and the many inconveniences which 
have resulted from what I now see clearly to have been 
omissions in the framing of that statute, I can truly say 
that I feel any thing but self-satisfaction in the recollection 
of that task. 

As to my intercourse with you, I should be ungrateful 
if I did not say at once that the obligation was entirely on 
my part, and that there was no individual whatever to 
whose sound judgment and sagacity I was so much indebted 
in the course of that work of preparation. It is very 
pleasing to me, however, to find that you were satisfied 
with the manner in which I received your suggestions, and 
that the communication w'e then had has had the effect on 
your part (as it has on mine) of increasing, rather than 
diminishing, the feeling of confidence and friendship with 
which, as brethren of our profession, we were previously 
disposed to regard each other. — ^Believe me always, &e. 

134.-^0 Mrs. 0. Innea. 

Brodick, Arrftii, 29t]i AngoBt, 1887. 

My dear Mrs. Innes — Charley says I am the idlest 
member of the family, and ought therefore to answer your 
letter to her ; and as I am sure its kindness deserves an 
answer, I accept the o£Sce, and hope for indulgence as her 
substitute. But I have no news to tell you. In this for-^ 
tunate island we know nothing of the wicked doings of the 
busy world which you still inhabit ; and, except through a 
stale newspaper, bear nothing of what is agitating the 
mainland of Great Britain and Ireland. In fine weather 
I take very kindly to this innocent and primitive state of 
^ignorance of good and evil, and reason and muse by the 


quiet waters and lonely Valleys^ in a rery volaptaons and 
exemplary way. But in a rainy day like this, I feel my 
^etical sonl snbride, and cannot resist a reenrrencd to in*- 
ierests which ought not to be so powerful with a gray* 
judge or eontemplatiye philosopher^ I must even confess 
that at such times. those dignified characters lose a little 
of their id^esty in my eyes, and that I feel i» if it werto 
something womaniih to sit safe and idle here in a corner^ 
when all who hare men's hearts in their bosoms are up and 
doing. It mortifies me a little to find that there is a closer 
alliance between gowns and petticoats than I had imagined, 
and then I think that the curiosity with which I am de- 
Toured in these woods is another feminine trait which does 
me no honour. 

Well, but you want to hear how we like Arran, and 
what sort of life we lead here. On the whole, it has been 
Very pleasant. Delicious weather, grand mountain views, 
wild rocky valleys, the brightest of bright waters — ^both 
freehand salt; and here at Brodick a graceful crescent- 
shaped bay of a mile over, with the old castle peering over 
its woods at one point, and a noble black cliff at the other; 
and then, beyond the bright gravel of the beach, a sweet 
deep-green valley, glittering with streams, and tufted all 
over with groups of waving ash trees, winding away for 
two miles or more among the roots of the mountains, some 
of which soar up in bare peaks of gray granite, and others 
show their detached sides and ends — all seamed with dark 
gullies stetching down from their notched and jagged 
summits. There is a description for you, and quite true 
notwithstanding. And we have atteilded two preachings 
in the open air, (worth ten of your idolatrous masses,) and 
heard the voice of psalms rise softly in the oalm air from 
■n scattery group of plaided and snooded worshippers, and 
go echoing up among the hills, and down to the answer^ 
ing murmurs of the shore ; and I have subs<iribed .£10 to 
buil4 a new church on the beautiful spot where this con- 


gregation met under the canopy of Heaven. As for our 
hostel, the people are simple and obliging, and we have 
niee whitings, and occasional Salmon, and tough fowls, and 
good whisky, and bad wine. But the worst is that a fat 
woman had engaged the best rooms before we came, and 
one of the supreme judges of the land has actually been 
condemned to sleep, with his lawfi^l wife, for the last ten 
days, in a little sultry garret, where it is impossible to 
stand upright, except in the centre, or to point yx)ur toe9 
up when you lie down, for the low slanting roof, which 
comes crushing down on them. But we are not di$oult, 
or prtdeftU you know, and have really suffered no serious 
discomfort. To me, indeed, the homeliness of the whole 
scene brings back recollections of a touching and endear- 
ing sort ; apd when I lay down the first night, and saw 
the moon shining in through the little uncurtained sliding 
windows in the roof, on the sort of horse rug on the floor, 
and the naked white walte, and two straw chairs, it brought 
so freshly to my mind the many similar apartments I- had 
occupied with delight in the lonely wanderings of my school 
and college days, that I, felt all my yopng enthusiasm 
revive, and forgot judgeship and politics, and gave myeelf 
up to my long cherished dreams of poetry iMid love. God 
help us. But we leave this enchanted islan4 on Monday 
piori^ing at five o'clock, alas ! and, if we survive that 
horror, e^^pect to get to Craigcrook that evening ; so write 
west to Edinburgh. 

I am glad to hear that you have been amused, but more 
glad that you think with pleasure of your return. Home 
is best, after all, for good people. Why do you stay 
away from it so long as to 8th August ? Innes is an idle 
fellow, and always exceeds his fijurloughs. I shall have 
Murray to reprim^^nd him. In the mean time, God bless 
you both. — Ever yours. 

I am pretty well again, I thank you, and can walk six 
or seven miles again well enough, either in sunshine or rain. 

Vol, II.— 20 


135. — To John Bichdrdwnj JSsq. 

Craigcrook, Thursday, 7th September, 18B7. 

My dear Richardson — I am a&hamed to have two kind 
letters to answer, and in my time of vacation, Jcc. 

We ran to Arran for a fortnight with Empson, sboli 
after the courts were over, and we have been entangled 
ever since with a succession of visitors. We had the Lis- 
ters for a fortnight; and then the tuneful Sergeant 
Talfourd ; and then Sir J. and Lady A, Dalrymple : and 
now we have my old friend Mr. W. Morehead, after twelve 
years of India ; and I fear have invited others of whose 
approach we expect to hear daily, and are not at liberty to 
disappoint, though I do by no means give up the hope of 
seeing Kirklands this season. I must therefore free you 
from all restraint as to your own engagements, and only 
beg that you would try to put one to Craigcrook as near 
the top of your list as possible. We shall probably go for 
a short time to my sister^s in Ayrshire, about the end of 
this month/ But except that (and the hope of Kirklands), 
I see little to disturb our residence here for the remainder 
of the autumn. Do come therefore with my dear Hope,'*' 
and as many more as you can, and let us 'have a tranquil 
week, and some pensive and cheerful retrospections among 
my shades, to soothe our declining days, and enable them 
the better to stand a comparison with those that ard gone 
by. There are few things would give me so much pleasure, 
or do me so much good, and I think it would not be dis- 
agreeable or hurtftd to you, &c. 

I have a strong pull at my heart towaird Minto,t and 
what you say of them gives it a fresh tug; but my anchor 
is too deep in the mud to let me move for the present. 
Why do none of them ever come here ? &c.i — ^Ever a£Fec^ 
tionately yours. 

* Miss Richardson. f The seat of the Earl of Minto. 


1Z6.— To Mr. :Pmp8on. . 

Craigcrook, 11th NoYember, 1887. 
PoBtremum hune Ardhu^a / . 
We go to Ediaburgh to-morrow, and I shall indite no 
more to you tliis year from rustic towers and coloured 
woods. They have been very lonely and tranquil all day, 
and with no more sadness than becomes parting lovers ; 
and now there is a glorious full moon, looking from the 
brightest pale sea-green sky you ever saw in your life. I 
was peevish, I think, when I wrote last to you; and I 
fancy you think so too, since you have taken no notice of 
me since. But I have been long out pf that mood, so you 
need not resent it any longer, and I really do not require 
any castigation for my amendment, for it is not a common 
mood of my mind, and shall not come back soon. I do 
not quite like this move, though I believe my chief repug- 
nance is to the early riking which awaits me, and for 
which I have been training myself for the last fortnight 
by regularly remaining in bed till after ten o'clock. You 
cannot think with what a pious longing I shall now look 
forward to Sundays. In the last week, I have read all 
Burn%'9 life and works — not without many tears, for the 
life especially. What touches me most is the pitiable po- 
verty in which that gifted being (and his noble-minded 
father) passed his early days— the painful frugality to 
which their innocence was doomed, and the thought how 
small a share of the useless luxuries in which we (such 
comparatively poor creatures) indulge, would have sufSced 
to shed joy and cheerfulness in their dwellings, and per- 
haps to have saved that glorious spirit from the trials and 
temptations under which he fell so prematurely. Oh my 
dear Empson, there must be something terribly wrong in 
the present arrangements of the universe, when those 
things can happen and be; thought natural. I coul4 lie 
down in the dirt, and cry and grovel there, I think, for a 


oentury, to save such a soul as Burns from the suffering 
and the contamination and the degradation which these 
same arrangements imposed upon him ; and I fancy that, 
if I could but have known him, in my present state of 
wealth and influence, I might have saved, and reclaimed, 
and preserved him, even to. the present day. He would 
not have been so old as my brother judge, liord Glenlee^ 
or Lord Lynedoch> or a dozen others that one meets daily 
in society. And what a creature, not only in genius, but 
in nobleness of character ; potentially, at least, if right 
models had been put gently before him. But we must not 
dwell on it. You south Saxons cannot value him rightly, 
and miss half the pathos and more than half the sweet* 
ness. There is no such mistake as that your cUef miss is 
in the humour or the shrewd sense. It is in far higher 
and more delicate elements — God help you ! We shall be 
up to the whole, I trust, in another world. When I think 
of his position, I have no feeling for the ideal poverty of 
your Wordsworths and Coleridges ; comfortable, flattered, 
very spoiled, capricious, idle beings, fantastically discon- 
tented because they cannot make an easy tour to Italy, 
and buy casts and cameos ; and what poor, peddling, whin- 
ing drivellers in comparison with him ! But I will have 
no uncharity. They, too, should have been richer. 

Do you know Berchaty^ patriot and poet, of course an 
exile, of Lombardy ? He has ^ome home for the winter, 
partly to superintend the studies of a young Marchese 
D'Arcanate, and partly to diversify his exile.. He dined 
here, yesterday, and seems a vigorous coismopolitish man; 
but I do not know his poetry^ He was a friend of Man- 
2ini and Foscolo, and knew Fecchio very well. I think 
he will be acceptable to the judicious, and I am sure you 
will be glad to see him, &c. — ^Ever yours. 


137.-^0 Mr. EmpBm, 

Edinburgh, 2Qtli NoYember, 18d7« 

Mj dear E. — ^I should like to be in town now in these 
ehopping and changing times. Oar pilot made an ngly 
jaw on first leaving his moorings; and, with tide and time 
of his own choosing, fairly ran on a reef before he was 
well under weigh. This lift of the wave among the pen-' 
Miens seemsy howeyer, to have floated him off again ; and 
we are now in smooth water, I hope, without much more 
danger than a bit of our false keel or so torn off. Still it 
was on awkward accident, and abates one's confidence con- 
siderably as to any foul weather that may be brewing for 
us. Do write me what is expected. I fear the << fierce 
demoeraty" of our constitution is now to be separated 
from its. mere emollient ingredients — ^and presented in pure 
extract*-^s embodying its whole virtue. I have no subh 
faith in Dr. Wakely as to taste a bit of it upon his recom- 
mendation. But I am a&aid many will be rash enough to 
make the experiment ; and who can answer for the danger? 
I wish somebody would write a good paper on the nature 
and degree of authority which is requisite for any thing 
like a permanent government, and upon the plain danger 
of doing what might be right for a peffecUy instructed 
society, for one just enough instructed to think itself fit 
for any thing. I am myself inclined to doubt, I own, 
whether any degree of instructipn would make it safe to 
give equal political power to the large poor classes of a 
fully peopled country as to the smaller and more wealthy ; 
though the experieiice of America might encourage one as 
to thiii, if there were only a little more poverty, and a 
little more press of population, to test the experiment. 
But we shall see. With us the change could not be peace- 
able, and I do not think could be made at all ; the chances 
being that we should pass M once from civil war to a cant- 
ing military despotism. 



I am Very sorry about your London University scbis- 
maticfl ; and am rather mortified that Arnold should be so 
Btic^lish. But if he means only that your classical gradu- 
ates should know the unclassical Greek of the N. T., as 
well as that of Plato and Xenophon, I think you should 
not hesitate to indulge him. If the examination is to be 
in the doctrine^ as well as the language — and truly an ex- 
amination in the theology rather than in classics — ^the diffi- 
culty no doubt will be greater, and his unreasonableness 
more surprising. Yet even then (though I feel that the 
a'dvice may seem cowardly,) seeing the i^ous, and even 
fatal consequences that would follow from the secession 
of all your clerical associates, I believe your better course 
will be to comply — making the best terms you can for 
tender consciences and special cases. I do not much like 
the counsel I give you, and shall be glad if you find you 
can do justice to the institution by following an opposite 
one* But I do not see how. 

I am much touched with what you say of Wishaw. I 
was not at all aware. that his sight was so very maoh de- 
cayed. But I think he is fortunate beyond most unmarried 
men, in being the object of more cordial kindness than 
such solitaries usually attract ; and in having so great a 
society of persons, of all ages, sexes^ and occupations, wil- 
ling to occupy themselves about him. His kindness, I do 
think, has fructified more than that of most people, and 
been the cause of kindness in others jko> a larger extent. 
Do remember me to him, and assure him of the interest I 
shall always take in him. 


138.— r^ Mr. JEmpsan^ 

(Who had sent him a letter from Mr. Maeanlay, stating reasons for pre- 
ferring a literary to a political life.) 

Edinburgh, 19th December, 1887. 
My dear E. — ^I return Macaulay's. 

It is a very striking and interesting letter; and certainly 
puts tIiejpro« and cons as to public life in a powerful way 
for the latter. But, after all^ Will either human motives 
or human duties ever bear such a dissection ? and should 
we not all become Hownynyms or, Quakers, and selfish 
cowardly fellows, if we were to act on views so systematic ? 
Who the devil would ever have any thing to do with love 
or war, nay, who would venture himself on the sea, or on 
a galloping horse, if he were to calculate in this way the 
chances of shortening life or forfeiting comfort by such 
venturesome doings? And is there not a vocation in the 
gifts which fit us for particular stations to which it is a 
duty to listen? Addison and Gibbon did well to write, 
because they could not speak in public. But is that any 
rule for M. ? And then as to the tranquillity of an au- 
thor's life, I confess I have no sort of faith in it, and am 
sure that as eloquent a picture might be drawn of its cares, 
and fears, and mortifications, its feverish anxieties, humi- 
liating rivalries and jealousies, and heart-sinking exhaus* 
tion, as he has set^ before us of a statesman. And as to 
fame, if an author's is now and then more lasting, it iis 
generally longer withheld, and, except in a few rare cases, 
it is of a less pervading or elevating description. A great 
poet, or great original writer, is above all other glory. 
But who would give much for such a glory as Gibbon's. 
Besides, I believe it is in the inward glow and pride of 
consciously influencing the great destinies of mankind, 
much more than in the sense of personal reputation, that 
the delight of either poet or statesman chiefly consists. 


Shakspeare plainly cared nothing about his glory, and 
Milton referred it to other ages. And, after all, why not 
be both stateemen and authors, like Barke and Clarendon. 
I do not know why I write all this, for I really am very 
busy, and it is such idle talking. Gome, and we shall have 
the talk out more comfortably. It is very warm here for 
the Jast four days. The thermometer always above fifty. 
With kindest remembrances to Marianne.-^E¥er yours. 

139.— ro the SolicUor-O^eneral (Rutherfurd). 

Northallerton, Tuesday Eyening, 
22d March, 1888. 

My dear Solicitor — On very well you see ; through a 
blustering cold equinoctial day as might be. The roads 
rather heavy, from recent repairs, and severe wet, but 
nothing extraordinary. Very good indeed from Hadding- 
ton to Berwick, and quite sound all along; patches of 
snow in corners till past Morpeth. We made Alnwick 
before eight last night. Here to-night half an hour later^ 
though earlier off* The English roads the most hilly. 
Mr. Hirst keeps capital fires, and the prize ox at Rushy- 
ford furnished an admlrabler cold sirloin. I have been 
reading Sir Walter's last volume* with great interest, and 
growing love for his real kindness of nature. It does one 
good to find some of the coarsenesses of the former volumes 
80 nobly redeemed in this. Poor Scott! could we but 
have him back, it seems to me as if we would make more 
of him. I have had strong puUings at the heart home- 
wards again, and feel half as if I were too old and lazy for 
any other place now. But there is room in London for 
quiet lookers on, as well as for the more spirited actors ; 
and there is no place, I believe, where a good listener and 
indulgent spectator is more popular. You are deporating 
yourself at this moment, I suppose, to grace Lady G.'s 

• Of his Life. 


racketty ball. If you wiah to please her, stay very late, 
and drink a great deal of noiay champagne. Write to say 
Wketi we may look for yoa. 

140.— 2fc Mrt. Empwnj 

(Who had left hun» Bom% weeks after her marriage.) 

Edinborgh, Thursday, one o'clock, 
18ih September, 1888. 
My dear Charley — ^You have had a nice time of it. 
Calm and warm all night, and now bright balmy summer, 
with no more wind than just to wave the awning under 
which I now see you sitting, looking out on the clear sea, 
and the varying shore, and leaning, not too tenderly I 
hope, on Empson ! We got over yesterday very well. I 
believe I was the most disturbed of the party; but a kind 
of horror of the water, and anxiety about your Safety, 
made part of my uneasiness. It was a relief when the 
servants came back, and reported that you were safe, and 
not uncomfortable aboard, and that you had found a 
dandiBy who was to supply the loss of poor Witchy. Your 
mother drank two bumpers of claret, and slept on the 
sofa. I read Peter M'Culloch, though with something of 
a wavering attention. The most pathetic occurrence of 
the evening was poor Witchy* bouncing out of our bed 
when I went up to it, and running to the door leading to 
your little old deserted room, and howling low and sweet 
at it for some time. She had missed you down stairs, and 
had evidently been struck with the notion that you were 
down there, sick, and neglected of all but her! We 
soothed her as Well as We could, and took her to out 
bosoms, where she lay like a dead dog, still and dispirited, 
the whole night. She is rather out of sorts still this 
morning. I am glad it is bright again ; for though I defy 
skyey influences, and am pleased with i^uch weather as 

« A Uttle dog. 


pleases God, I feel that there is somethmg cheerful in 
mild clear sunshine. It is really very sweet to-day. The 
thermometer is sixty-one, and, after the dewing of yester* 
day, every thing is so fresh and fragrant ! How is it in 
New Street ? Your spring gardens will stand no com- 
parison with our autumn one. And yet the Park will be 
pretty, especially in this season of London (Solitude, &c. 

How is Whitey? Her Scotch voice, I hope, will not 
soon grow distasteful to your ears. Bless you. — ^Bver 

141. — To the Lord Advocate {Ruth^urd). 

Craigcrooky Monday, 8d Jane, 1839. 

My dear R. — ^Why the devil do you not say something 
in Parliament, while yet it is called to-day, and before the 
night cometh, when no man can speak? Let your mouth 
then be opened, if it were only for once, like that of 
Balaam's ass, and let my cudgel provoke you, if not the 
abundance of the heart ! I glance over every newspaper, 
in hopes of finding your name at the top of a long 
column — broken with cheers ; but there you are mute as a 
fish, and only figuring in the miraculous draft of a large 
division. If you cannot get your Scotch Voters' Bill on 
soon, you should speak on the Education question — on 
which speeches enough, I fear, will be needed. But it is 
properly a Scotch question ; for why the devil should our 
Presbj/terian party be taxed to support schools exclusively 
Episcopal f I wish they had left the accredited Bible% in 
possession of their monopoly; and if thie were conceded, I 
cannot but think that the great difBculty would be got 

Macaulay has got on beautifully here, and not only de- 
lighted all true and reasonable Whigs, but surprisingly 
mollified both Tories and Eadicals. They will give him 
no trouble to-morrow, unless some blackguard radicals 
should hold up their dirty hands and bellow at the nomi- 


nation. But I think there is no chance of this. The 
more he is known, however, the more he is liked. He re- 
lies a great deal oi^ you, for c^ounsel and information on 
all local questions ; and I have nnd^aken that you shall 
not grudge him your assistance. 

Wo have no news here now that the Venerable has 
closed its sittings ; the most memorable^ and likely to be 
remembered, since 1688.* 

Ood bless you my dear B. I find nobody here to fill 
your place, though I am generous enough not to wish you 
back before August. 

U2.—To George J. Belly Usq. 

Graigcrook, Sunday Eyening, 7th July, 1839^ 

My dear Bell — It is very pleasing to have such letters 
written to one's friend, ^nd of. one's profession and coun- 
try; and still more pleasant to think that we (in some 
sort) deserve to b^ so written of. If we were all as zealous 
and unwearied in the discharge of our duties as you are, 
we should have more of the latter feeling. As it is,^ it 
must be chastised, I fear in most, by many compunctious 
visitings. But you may always look back to such memo- 
lials as this without a pang of self-reproach.f God bless 
you. — ^Ever fwthfully yours. 


Craigcrook, 14th Jtdy, 1839. 

My sweet, gentle, and ' long-suffering Sophia — ^Your 
(just) resentment is terrible enough at a distance ; but it 
would kill me at hand, and therefore I must mollify it, in 
some way or another, before you come down ; for you know 
I could never live to see you " into terror turn your counte- 

* The General Assenibly, called the Venerable. 

t Mr. Bell had sent him two letters, written by Kent and Story, the 
eminent American lawyers, on their receiying copies of Bell's " Prin- 


nance, too severe to behold !*' What» then, shall I say to 
l^ppease you ? What, but that I am a miserable sinner ? 
and yet more miserable than sinning, for I am old and 
indolent, and yet forced to work like a young tiger, and 
obliged to ifalk to keep my stagnating blood in, motion, till, 
with toil and early rUingj I am overtaken with sleep in 
the afternoons, and have scarcely time and vigour for my 
necessary labours. «Ah little think the gay licentious 
proud !" And then I have grown (and high time too) so 
conscious of my failings, and diffident of my powers of 
pleasing, and so possessed with the dread of your increased 
fastidiousness in that great scornful London, and of the 
odiouaness of the comparisons to which I would. subject 
myself, that, altogether, and upon the whole, you see, it 
has been as it were, or as you would say, impossible, or at 
least not easy, to answer your kind and entertaining letter 
with any thing but kindness ; which I thought might be de- 
spised or not thought good enough for you, and so forth 1 
And so you understand all about it, and must forgive me 
whether you will or not ; and pity me into the bargain— 
with that pity which melts the soul to love — ^and so we are 
friends again. And you shall be received into my heart, 
whenever you like, and if you see any thing there that 
offends you, I shall give you leave to pluck it out. 

We baptized little Charley yesterday, with perfect suc- 
cess. It would have done your heart good to have seen 
with what earnestness she renounced the devil, and the 
vain pomp and glory of the world, as she lay sputtering 
off the cold water, in the arms of the Rev. C* Terrot. The 
ceremony was at two o'clock, and then we had lundi and 
champagne, and then all the party reeled out, some to tha 
greenwood shade, and some to the bowling-green — ^where 
I won three shillings from Cockburn (quite fairly) by the 
sweat of my brow, and then we had a jolly dinner — and 
the loveliest summer day ever seen so far to the north. 
But I have said all this to Rutherfurd already, and fear I 


am {klling into dotage. Her Majesty's ship, the Benbow, 
of 74 guns, has been lying in our roadstead for three 
weeks, and is visited daily by incredible crowds of idle 
people. Last Sanday there were no fewer than 8000. I 
do not ask you to believe that on my word, but on that 
of the gallant jOaptain Houston. Stewart, who told tae so, 
as I sat by him at a drunken dinner of the Northern Lights 
last Thursday, and, moreover, assured me that he had 
never used more than two dozen of champagne on any one 
day — (Josy >Hume should be told how our nava^l stores go.) 
I hate the water too much to follow the multitude ; but 
ChdLTlej {the first) hsii not so muph sense, and went one 
day with Lady Bell. Charley {the second) was wiser, and 
staid with me. Moreover, Lady Bell and her husband 
have almost fixed on building a little cottage on the corner 
of my Olermiston farm, close to my Jboundary on the west, 
near the open space where there are cottages, and a very 
fine view. But they say the chief charm is, that they can 
see Batho'*' from it. Ah ! poor deserted Ratho ! and when 
not deserted, destined to be filled with all the corrupt over- 
flowings of London, and the Houses of Parliament : and to 
resound to the echo of metropolitan riot and intemperate 
insolence ! Oh peaceful shades ! oh fields beloved in vain ! 
where once my careless Sophy strayed, a stranger yet to 
Tawn ! God help us. But you will come back, and I may 
find a soft evening hour to revive these innocent recollec- 
tions: Lowry Cockbum has been down for a few days, 
and has gone again to London. His mother says, he is 
paying them another visit before encountering another 
shipwreck. But I do not see the good of having the pain 
of a third parting. She was rather low, I thought, yester- 
day, though full of motherly kindness to all us young 
people. The Murrays go towards Strachur on Thursday 

* A place a few miles from Edinburgh, which the Butherfurds had a 
lease of. 

VOL.II.— «l Q . 


— &11 of projects for famishing, fishing, and beautifying. 
I hope she is rather better. Lauder is yer j happy with 
his new appointment. M'Bean has renewed his wig, and 
looks as young as a viper who has just cast his enamelled 

144.-2^0 the Lord Advocate (Rutherfurd). 

CrtSgerookf Tuesday, 18th August, 1889. 

My dear R. — ^You must be coming bade to us at last. 
« Time and the hours run through the roughest day ;" and 
I ];eckon fully on seeing you here before my spell in the 
bill-chamber, vice Glenlee, is over, on the 26th, &c. 

We are still very quiet and patriarchal here, and our 
tranquillity has not yet been disturbed by the Chartist rites 
of . the sacred month, or any other of their unhallowed 
doings. Yet I have a deep and painful impression that it 
cannot end now without bloodshed, and that not by drib- 
lets on the scaffold, but by gushes on the field. It is 
miserable ; but I see no other issue, and can only pray 
that those who are sure to suffer may be first fxit flagranti}/ 
in the wrong. 

I am disappointed that the session is to close without 
your having given the Commons a taste of your quality, 
and only hope that the length of your silent noviciate will 
not make you more unwilling to speak wh^n your tongue 
is at last loosened. The Lords will have dono something 
to keep you in wind. Z fancy you have had stiff work 
there, &c. 

I was delighted to see Sophia's fair hand again, but had 
no idea how frightfully ill she had been. I have a letter 
of the same strain from fair Theresa Lister, who seems to 
have been still worse. But I trust both are out of the 
scrape now, and will have purchased a long holiday by 
this rough service. There is something voluptuous in a 
steady and idle convalescence in fine weather, and among 
kind people. « The common air, the sun, the sky, &c." 


I snspect jou will find Edinburgh ^ desert* Even 
Ponce Davy"*" has hidden himself in shades, and gone for a 
whole month to the country, for the first time, I believe, 
sinoe lie was a W. S. But you have had enough of townj 
I fanoy, and will be glad enough to meditate in the fields 
at eventide with me, at Batho or Graigcrook ; unless, 
indeed, you were to break a spear at the tournapienty which 
seems to me a very operose piece of dullness. 

Well, come quickly ! quid plura^ &c. — Ever yours, 

145. — To Mrs. Craig. 

Ptmkeld, Friday, 20th September, 1889. 
My dearest Jane — I thought I should have written to 
you from Eothiemurchus If Would not that have been 
nice ? But I cfinnot get any nearer. I have resolved to 
visit E. EUice at Invereshie, when I certainly should have 
made a pilgrimage to the Doun, but I was stopped by 
visitors I could not decline, and now mupt hurry back for 
certain judicial duties, which the new law has put on our 
vacation, and for which I must be at my post next Monday. 
It is something, however, to have peeped even so far into 
the threshold of your central highlands, to have smelt the 
peat smoke of your cottages, heard the sweet chime of 
your rocky cascades, and seen your shiny cliffs starting 
from every birch and dark pine, and the blue ridges of 
your distant hills melting into the inland sky. I need not 
tell you what recollections are awakened by these objects, 
nor how fresh, at such moments, all the visions of youth, 
and the deeper tinted, and scarcely less glorious, dreams 
of manhood, come back upon the heart. I have been 
thinking, all day, of one of the last, I rather think it was 
the last, time I saw you at Eothiemurchus, and of a long 
rambling ride we bad, upon ponies, through the solemn 

* Mr. David Claghorn, Crown- A gent, a most excellent man. 
t The seat of Mrs. Craig's family. 


twilight of a dark autumnal day. Tbe birches and oak 
copses were all of a deep tawny yellow, the pines, spreading 
far over the plains, of an inky blue, a broad band of saffron 
light gleaming sadly in the west, and the Spey sweeping 
and sounding hoarsely below us, as we paused, for a long 
time, on a height near the gamekeeper's house. Have 
you any recollection of that same ? I remember it as if 
it were yesterday, or rather feel it as if it were still before 
me. Why, or how, I caiinot tell. But there it is; as 
vivid, and clear, and real, as when it was present to my 
senses. And it is as real and true, if memory and feeling 
be as much parts of our nature as our senses, and give us 
the same assurance of the existence of their objects. But 
I did not mean to write thus to you, but to answer your 
letter as it ought to be answered. The air of your moun- 
tains has disordered me, but I am sober again and pra- 
ceed, &c. 

146. — To Mrs. JEmpson: 

Edinburgh, 23d Jauuary, 1840. 

Thank you for your pleasant letter of Tuesday, and for 
liking DollyloUy. I wonder you are not more struck with 
the likeness to papa ; except indeed that she is so much 
handsomer. JR. says you are looking peculiarly well, and 
ventures lo add, that he thinks you everi/ way improved, 
which conveys an insinuation against your Scotch breeding 
d^ni fufonSj which I do not entirely relish. I hope you will 
never improve out of your old simplicity and unambitious 
sweetness, or even out of those thoughtful traits of nation- 
ality, which I think (and you used to think) so loveable. 
Give me assurance, if you please, of this. Before I forget, 
let me give you, my love, a little exhortation against over 
anxiety about Empson's health, which I have several times 
resolved lately to address to you. I fear you have some* 
thing of this spirit in your nature,, or at least in your habits, 
which it is really of great consequence to repress, and if 


possible, eradicate. It is very mnch a matter of habit, and, 
if not altogether voluntary, capable at least of being vefy 
mucb restrained by a steady volition and effort against it. 
It is a source of great and useless misery, — the vigilance 
requisite for all practicable precautions being perfectly 
consistent with a habit of hopefulness and trust, and with 
the power of distracting the mind from the contemplation 
of contingent disasters. Even when danger is pretty im- 
minent, and the odds considerable on its side, there is great 
virtue, and I need not say relief, in this power of abstrac- 
tion and compulsory forgetfulness. But to dwell habitu- 
ally upon remote and improbable calamities, is not only a 
weakness and a misery, but a vice ; and so « pray be not 
over exquisite (as the divine Milton hath it) to cast the 
shadows of uncertain evils ;'* — and so I have done. But 
do not lau^h at this, but recal it, and make an effort, when 
you are tempted to fall into those gloomy views. God 
bless you. I dined with Macaulay yesterday at the Pro- 
vost's, where we dualized. The talk very much as at 
— r-'s.^ But, except on those two occasions, I have 
scarcely seen him, so much is he distracted by meetings, 
deputations, and correspondence. The election went off 
quietly to-day ; no show of opposition, and as the day was 
ba4, no great attendance, and short speaking. They were 
taking down the hustings when I came out of court at iialf- 
past four. His speech on Tuesday, I hear, was admirable* 
We send you a copy of the Caledonian.* He is to have a 
great dinner to-day, and to be off by the evening mail, and 
may see you as soon as this. I am sorry I had so little of 
him. But I e:^pected no better. Dolly perfect still ; very 
fond of sweet wine ; and bites and sucks my finger, long 
after she has licked off what has stuck to it. ^ She likes 
One to murmur softly into her ears, and to have her face 
lightly brushed by my gray hair. I cannot tell you yet to 
what Tory the gown will be offered ; but I may to-morrow. 

* Caledonian Mercury, an Edinburgh newspaper. 


147,— To Mrs. 0. Innes. 

Edinborglv Thursdaj, Gth February, 1840, 

My dear Mrs. lDne» — 

I forgot to applaud your purpose of entering on that 
best study. But I do not believe you could ever doubt 
that I would applaud it. yes ! read, and read, in those 
Scriptures, as often, as largely, and as carefully ^ as you can ; 
only take care not to surfeit yourself, ly taking too much 
sweet at a time ; and still more, beware of stupifying your- 
self by poring and plodding in search of a profound meaning, 
which you fear you may not have seen, or a latent beauty 
which you fancy may have escaped you. There are no such 
hidden mysteries in Shakspeare. He is level to all capaci- 
ties, and " speaks, with every tongue, to every purpose." 
The diction, which is mostly that of his age, may bccasion- 
ally perplex those who are not familiar with it at first. But 
that is soon got over, and then you have only to give him 
and yourself fair play, by reading when you are in the 
right mood, and that with reasonable attention, which one 
who likes flowers and fine scenery will always give to such 
things when they are around his path, instead of hurrying 
on unobservant to the journey's end. It is of some conse- 
quence, perhaps, if you are really to go through the whole 
series of plays (which I earnestly recommend), to know 
with which you had best begin. But I am not sure that I 
know enough of your tastes, and probable repugnances, to 
be able to advise you. 

The single play which has more of the prodigality of 
high fancy^ united with infinite discrimination of character, 
and moral wisdom and pathos, than any other, is Samlet. 
But then it has so much of what is wayward and unac- 
countable, that, if you are apt to be perplexed with such 
things, you might probably do best to begin with Othello^ 
which, with less exuberance and variety, is full of deep 
feeling, force, and dignity ; and all perfectly consistent, 


smooth, and intelligible. And then take Macbethj which, 
in spite of its witbhes and goblins, has the same reeom- 
mendation of not startling yoa with strangeness and wild 
fancies, but keeps the solemn tenor of its way, right on to 
the grand conclosionw For the camecUe^j the two Parts 
of Henry IV. and the Merry Wii)es of WindsoTj are ^bout 
the best; though As Tou Like It is more airy, graceful, 
and elegant, and, to my taste, though less powerful and 
inventive, on the whole more agreeable. But now, if you 
rq'oice in the Sweet diction and delicate fancies of the truly 
poetical parts of these plays, you may proceed to the more 
ethereal revelations of the Tempe$f and the Midsummer^s 
Dreaniy ikni all the bright magic of Ariel 9,ni Titania, 
And what things these are ! and how they have illumined 
and perfumed our lower world, by the play of ikdr sweet 
immortality, and the wafture of their shining wings! 
Then that best romance of youth and love — the Romeo 
and Juliet — and the gracious I^yll of Perdita, and the 
great sea of tears poured out vfi Lear^ and the sweet 
austere composure and purity of Isabella in Measure for 
Measure, and the sublime misanthropy of Timon; and — 
but^there is no end to this — and those are the best of them. 
Only I must say a word for the glorious and gorgeous 
abandonment of Antony, and CkopatrOj through the whole 
of which you breathe an atmosphere of intoxication and 
heroic voluptuousness; and the gentle majesty of Brwtus 
and \nA Portiay in contrast with the stem and noble pride 
and indignation of Coriolanus. 7here, now, you see what 
it is to set me off upon Shakspeare ! Sut it is to set you 
on him, and that must be my apology ; besides that I could 
not help it. To end my lecture, I will only say, do not 
read too fast. Two days to one play will not he too much; 
and look back to them again as often as you please. And 
do not read every day, unless you have a call that way. 
And so God prosper yo^ pleasant studies^ and bless them 
for your good. 


I do not think I have any news for you, I hope you 
were satisfied with the Division^ and are not in duch de- 
spair about the Government as you w^e lately, though 
there is still need enough to join trembling with your mirth. 
I was really shocked at your confession of Tori/ propensi* 
ties. What . could have given a disposition like yours a 
bias to so hard-hearted and insolent a creed ? But I hope 
jou'are now thoroughly converted from the error of your 
ways, and look with proper humiliation on the sins of your 
youth, &c. 

Our Polly has got a fifth tooth ! and as easily as all the 
former. She saw her own blood for the first time yester- 
day, and was much pleased with its fine colour, which she 
daubed all over the table-cloth and my face with much 
hearty laughter, having cut her finger with a bit of sharp 
glass. For my part, I do not understand how the little 
wretch's blood comes to be so red, Yihen she has never 
eaten any think but white milk! Can you expound that 
mystery? &c. — Ever very afiectionately yours. 

148.— 2b Mrs. JSJmpson. 

Edinburgh, Thursday, 20th February, 1840. 

I had a lonely thoughtful walk to-day — ^after leaving the 
court — ^first among the strange narrow gloomy little lanes, 
running down from the High Street, which I used to fre* 
quent in my boyish days, and in which I am offended with 
various mean new houses which have come in place of the 
old tumble-down black fetid piles, which were my acquaint- 
ances of yore ; and then out round the skirts of Arthur's 
Seat and the Crags, where there are far fewer traces of re* 
cent innovation, but a great entireness and fixity of old lone- 
liness and beauty, and old associations. I looked rather 
mournfully to a steep ascent, up which I escorted your 
mother to the craggy summit just about thirty years ago, 
(and so some few years before you were born,) and formed 


a bold resolution to climb it again with her the first fine 
day; — ^but to-day is not fine nor any 'day this week. It is 
east wind still, and has been dropping^ small sifbings of snow 
or hail through the black sky for the last forty-eight hours. 
Thermometer about forty. Dolly i^ perfect — with a per- 
pendicular ridge up her forehead like the sharp edge of a 
wig-block. You understand? very funny though — and 
her hair growing nicely, of a bright^ metallic lustre, and 
reasonably thick on the n'pex of her<head^ though peaked 
at the temples still, as you may see in the picture. God 
bless you, dearest. In about a month shall we not be 
coming to you? and this is the shortest month too of all.-« 
Ever yours. \ 

149.— To Mr. JEmpBon. 

Edinburgh, Wecbiesday) 4th May, 1840. 

I do not believe your Frenchman who says that a Napo- 
leon — that is, a Napoleon feeding oi derived claims and 
memories — could have any chance, if there was an open 
competition for French sovereignty. ,What another incar- 
nation of the last potent spirit mi^t do in France, or 
anywhere, is another question. But % do not believe there 
is any such haiikering after conscriptions and a military 
despotism (for that is the synonym of military glory, and 
well enough understood) among the reblly influential classes 
in France, as to give any chance for k mere military chief, 
much less for an alien who has achieved no glory for him- 
self. All that is mere chatter, and only proves that there 
is much discontent and much loose thinking and talking 
on great subjects, which we scarcely needed a man to come 
across the channel and tell us. How odd it is that there 
can be no strong governments now in free countries ! I 
think I see the theory of this, and it would make a pretty 
pendant to yours of open questions^ and belongs to tiae 
same category. Do you see the bearings ? or shall I take 
half a sheet by-and-by and unfold ihem ? You see, the 


Tory lords are pressmg goyemment now for an act to settle 
our despised Non-intrusion friends, and the bishops taking 
part in it, too, and wishing the abuses of patrons^ to be 
repressed by the legislature in England, a£f well as in Scot- 
land ! Bravo ! But if we in the north are not to get 
more protection from that abuse than your English bishopa 
will support for you, we must go to our hill-sides and con- 
venticles again. But we will get enow, and mu9tj or it 
will be taken. I hear nothing authentic of Perthshire to- 
day, except that both sides talk big, which may be believed 
on slight testimony. Fox Maule coming in person is W(Hrth 
fifty votes at least— an admirable canvasser^ and so person^ 
ally popular. 

150.— ra Mh. 0. Itmes. 

Edinburgh, Tuesday, 2d June, 1840. 

My dear Mrs. Innes — Though I have nothing new to 
tell you, I feel that I must write to say that I hope you 
were gratified, or at least relieved^ by the tidings I brought 
to Innes yesterday.^ It is small promotion, certainly; 
but there is something tranquillizing in the sense of seen- 
rity^ and I trust it is but the harbinger of future good. 
Progress and hope, in worldly affairs at least, are far betr 
ter than ultimate prosperity ; and the moderate and sue- . 
cessive advances by which patient merit makes its way to 
distinction and opulence are a thousand times more envi- 
able than the dull possession of them by those to whoin* 
they have always been f&miliar. 

There is no post to-day, so that there will b6 no formal 
communication till to-morrow. But I can no longer have 
any doubt about the result, &c. 

Lord Meadowbank's sick daughter is dead, poor thing. 
How life steals or starts away from us ! and how little it 
alters some people, I mean internally, in its course. I 

* Ot Us being made Sheriff of Morayshire. 


can remember the erents^ and look back on tbe feelings of 
half a century^ and I do not feel that I am different, m 
vskj material respect, from what I was when I went to Ool-^ 
lege at Glasgow, in 1790. I ought to be asliamed, I sup- 
pose, at not having improved more in that long time ; \mt 
I cannot help it« Do you think anyiJiing can be done for 
me yet ? &c. 

I do not get on very well with my work, and am afraid 
this half Craigcrook life is agcunat it, though I should 
grudge abridging it for C/s sak« and Dolly's; both are so 
well there, and enjoy it so much, &c. 

I have been in Exchequer till near four, and have 
scarcely time to do what is needful ; so, with kindest love 
to all your loving household, believe me also your loving 

151.— To Mr. Umpson. 

Edinburgli, Satiirday, 27th Jon^ 1840. 

You know that no man can well care less for the pre- 
tensions 6f churches, or be less disposed to abet them than 
I am ; and if it were a mere question of church against 
patrons or judges, my dispositions would rank me on the 
mde of the latter. But it is from my strong impression 
of the Boeial and political mischiefs which this unconcilia- 
tory spirit is likely to breed, that I tery deeply deplore 
any thing that tends to excite it. If the advocates of 
Intrusion, or those who are now so called, are permitted 
to go on, the result will be the secession, from tho Esta^- 
blished Church, of the better half (in all senses) of its pre- 
sent pastors, and, probably, as large a proportion of their 
flocks. There are already more than a fourth of the 
population in the ranks of Presbyterian dissent, and if 
this result occurs, liey will be a decided majority, and the 
Established Church, drawing all the tithes and monopo- 
lising the whole benefices, will be the church of a minority, 
as in Ireland. The effect of such a state of things on 


the peace and temper of the people, we have only to look 
to that country to learn. And here, the same conse- 
quences would infallibly follow, with inereased discontent 
and heartburning, from the knowledge of the fact that the 
schism was produced, not by any radical and irreconcilable 
difference of creed, but solely for the sake of maintaining 
the civil, and utterly worthless, rights of a few lay patrons 
in their harshest and most unmitigated form. It will not 
do to mock at follies leading to such consequences as 
those. God bless you. — Ever affectionately yours. 

152.— To Mrs. 0. Inne9. x 

Dunkeld, Thursday Night, 
18ih August, 1840. 

My dear Mrs. Innes — I wrote to you last Saturday, and 
here I am writing to you again, not because I have any 
thing very interesting to tell you, but (I suppose) because 
I am some sixty miles nearer you than I was then, and so 
more under thp influence of the e^lective affinities. Then 
it is such beautiful weather in these porthern latitudes of 
ours, and all the rest have gone to their lazy beds and left 
me alone in this splendid parlour of the Bridge Inn, with 
the broad Tay shining like quicksilver before its windows, 
under the loveliest and brightest moon you ever saw, hang- 
ing over dark mountains and gray cathedrals among dark 

Well, we left Craigcrook on Tuesday with Dolly,* and 
Witchy,t and Dover,t and Peter, and dropped Aunt Bee§ 
at Queensferry, where I plucked a sweet-pea from your 
deserted garden, and came on well to Perth, where we 
walked on the Ineh, and admired the fair tramper$ dancing 
in their tubs, on the edge of the twilight river, and the 
salmon fishers, with their red wizard looking lights, in their 
creaking cobles. Then had an excellent dinner, after which 

* His eldest grand-daughter. f A little dog. 

J A servant. J Mr. Innes's sister. 


I aired myself on the lonely bridge, and saw the ipoon rise 
majestically behind the darkness of KinnouU Hill ; and 
then we all lounged at our quiet back windows, listening to 
the ffoft roar of the stream, and admiring the sweet effect 
of the moonlight on the long stretch of pale arches, with 
the sheety water beyond- After breakfast yesterday we 
drove out to Einfauns, which is really a finer thing, both 
for pictures and collections within, and scenery ^thout, 
than I had recollected it. And on our return set off for 
this prettiest of all places, where we arrived before four 
o'clock, and soon enough to have a most delightful walk 
for two or three miles up the river, on the Inver side, which 
I have always thought the most beautiful, besides bemg 
free from the vexation of stupid guides and paltry locked 
gates, things which disturb my enjoyment of sweet places 
so much, that I rather think I shall not expose myself to 
their plague while I am here. 

To-day we left Dolly to take her ease in her inn, (and to 
improve her acquaintance with a very sociable kitten and 
a most solemn cat, which divide her affections between 
t}iem,) and drove up to Killiecrankie, where we got out of 
the carriage and walked down by the bridge and the old 
Blair road, which giv^ you the only good views of that most 
magnificent ravine, and then drove back here again, through 
the grounds of Faskally, and, I am sorry to say, close by 
the windows of its fine new house. You know all these 
places, do not you ? If you do, you will think this list of 
them a very dull piece of prose; and if you do not, you 
will not be much the wiser for reading it. I h'ave not been 
at Killiecrankie for twenty years, I believe. 

I hope you continue to like Knockomie (how came it by 
so strange a name ?). But you do not tell me how long 
you are to stay there, nor where you are to go when you 
leave it, nor how Innes has been received in his kingdom,'*' 

* lir. Innes had recently been made Sheriff of Morayshire. 
Vol. IL-^22 


nor whether he bears his faculties meekl j, nor whether he 
has held any courts, or dismissed any substititteB, or con* 
Ticted any culprits, nor whether yon get any bribes to use 
your influence with him to prevent the course of justice, 
nor whether you are going to Kilravock, nor in what yon 
feel changed when you compare yourself of yore, in your 
ohildish days, with yourself of the day that is. Lady 

< y I take it, is much more changed in the interval 

than you are. I am glad you like ■ ■ , for it is always 

happy and right to love where we can. But she will need 
mending, I suspect, before she is thoroughly amiable* For 
my part, I have no notion of ^any child being agreeable 
whose predominai^t impression is not that of its own insig- 
nificance except as an object of affection. And pray do 
not imbibe any of its mother's little ameftume; entertain* 
ing as it sometimes is. It hardens the heart, and proceeds 
most commonly from a heart which disappointment has 
hardened already. I am afraid this is its true source, poor 
thing, with her ; and though one cannot but pity and wish 
to see it dispelled by returning happiness, it must be owned 
not to be the most blessed of the fruits of affliction. May 
you, my dear child, have none of them to reap, even of a 
milder relish,! We set out on our return to-morrow, and 
run to sleep at Kinross, and get early to Graigcrook on 
Sunday, and <m Tuesday we go, for the rest of the week, 
to Ayrshire. 

It is rather colder to-day, and I have a little clear fire 
gleaming opposite to the moon atid the bright river. We 
have the Irish stories and a volume of Shakspeare with us, 
but have not read a great deal. I ^m afraid your studies, 
too, will be interrupted by your rambling. 

Though we hiEkve been living a most abstemious life, and 
always in the open air, I am as dyspeptic as a lazy alder- 
man. Some sportsmen left young grouse for us this fore- 
noon. Has Innes done any murder among those innocents ? 


and now good night, and -with love to all around you. — 
Believe me always, very affectionately yours. 

' 153. — To John Biehardaony ^8q. 

I Hayleybury, Thursday, 16th October, 1840. 

My dear Ricliardson — ^Many thanks for your kind letter 
and invitation. Few things would give us more pleasure 
than comihg^ to you at Eirklands. But our days are now 
do numbered that we must not let ourselves think of it for 
the present, &;c. 

. Though we cannot meet, however, at Kirklands in Oc- 
tober, we shall, J hope, before Christmas, in Edinburgh. 
When the leaves are all gone, and your darling trees have 
given t)ver growing for the season, you will be able to tear 
yourself from your shades, and if Hopey and her sister can 
be persuaded to come sooner, we shall be most happy to 
see them without you. 

We have had ihe most lovely ten days that I ever re- 
member, and I hope this second summer is not yet over. 
I have often heard of fine Octobers, but I do not think I 
ever saw one before, and we have enjoyed it thoroughly in 
this quiet, retired, and beautiful country, which hides in 
its recesses more fine woodland scenery, and even more 
lovely and magnificent residences than are dreamed of by 
those who merely pass along the highways. We returned 
only yesterday from a four days' run to Cambridge and 
Ely, where we were entertained with academical sumptuous- 
ness, and delighted with the palace-like colleges, and 
venerable and gigantic elmsj to say nothing of the smooth 
sliding and silvery Cam, and its many Venetian-looking 
bridges, buttressed by vast umbrageous weeping willows. 
We are going to-day to St. Albans, to kneel at the shrine 
of Bacon, ^nd see the statue over his grave. On Saturday 
we all go to London, and on Tuesday or Wednesday the 
Edinburgh party must take the rail to Lancaster ; and so 
passes the glory of the world ; and another seasoti of en- 


joyment is struck off ithe small remnant that is left for us. 
No matter ; we shoulq not be troubled at these things, and 
though the thought of them does come more frequently to 
mj mind, I am not sensible that they bring with them, or 
leave behind any gloom or apprehension. Your estimate 
of life, my dear friend, is the true one, and its best enjoy- 
ment I really believe is, when ambition has run its course, 
and anxiety for worldly success is. at an end, provided 
always that there is! tolerable health, and objects of love 
around us, &c. — Evei: very affectionately yours, 

154t.^^To Mr9. Umpson. 

JBdinburgh, 6th December, 1840. 
I have been down At the Duke's pier with Rutherfurd, 
and so have only time for a word to-day again. But I 
cannot deprive you of my Sunday bleaaingy and all its 
blessed effects. May it be realized and perpetuated on 
you, and all that are dear to you, for ever ! I have not 
passed the whole day profanely either ; for, after your mo- 
ther and Aunt Bee went to church, I read for a good hour 
in the life of Dr. Adam Clarke, with much interest and 
edification. Did I not tell you, that my poor hopeless 
Shetland poetess had at last found a refuge in the house 
of & pious lady at Uackney (I think, or Stoke Newing- 
ton ?) Well, this gooki lady, hearing from her protegSe of 
my good deeds to h^r in former days, has indited a very 
primitive and sweet (letter to me, and begged my accep- 
tance of a copy of th^ life of the said Dr. A. Clarke, who 
was her father; which I received gratefully, and am pe- 
rusing, I hope, not without profit — I am sure not without 
pleasure. He was not a man of powerful understanding, 
rather the reverse, atid occasionally very dreamy and ab- 
surd; but of apostoUcal simplicity and purity, and with 
the zeal and devotedness, not only of an apostle, but a 
martyr. And he meets with so many good and kind peo- 
ple, and is himself sp gentle and modest and candid, that 


it does one good to go through all his benevolent and en« 
thusiasti<3 twaddle ; though a learned man also. And so 
God. bless you always, my beloved infant* Tour mother 
is to write. But Sorley is perfect still, without blemish 
and without spot — ^Ever yours. 

155. — To Mr. Empsm. 

Edinburgh, Wednesday, 16th December, 1840. 
I have read Harriet's* first volume, and give in my ad- 
hesion to her Black Prince, with all my heart and soul. 
The book is really not only beautiful and touching, but 
noble; and I do not recollect when I have been more 
charmed, both by very sweet and eloquent writing, glow- 
ing description, and elevated as well as tender sentiments. 
To be sure, I do not at all believe that the worthy people 
(or any of them) ever spoke or acted as she has so grace- 
fully represented them ; and must confess, that, in all the 
striking scenes, I entirely forgot their complexion, and 
drove the notion of it from me as often as it recurred. 
But this does not at all diminish, but rather increases, the 
merit of her creations. Toussaint himself, I suppose, 
really was> an extraordinary person ; though I cannot be- 
lieve that he actually was such a combination of Scipio and 
Cato, and Fenelon and Washington, as she seems to have 
made him out. Is the Henri Christophe of her story the 
royal correspondent of Wilberforce in 1818 ? His letters, 
though amiable, are twaddly enough. The book, however, 
is calculated to make all its readers better, and does great 
honour to the heart, as well as the talent and fancy, of the 
author. I would go a long way now to kiss the hem of 
her garment, or the hand that delineated this glowing and 
lofty representation of purity and noble virtue. And she 
must not only be rescued from all debasing anxietiea about 
her subsistence, but be placed in a station of affluence and 

* Blifls Martineau'B Hour and The Man. 

23* R 


honour, though I believe she triilj cares for none of these 
things. It is sad to think that she suffers from ill health, 
and may even be verging to dissolution. God forbid. 
Tarley"*" is qi4te well. She has been going about all daj, 
like the bride of Thor, with a great banner in her hand, 
and sat with me over an hour, cradled in mj great chair, 
and listening to my vivid descriptions of the lions, bears, 
tigers, and antelopes, whose effigies we turned over before 
us. She is very easily amused, and engrossed with any oc^ 
cupation she takes to, and applies to it seriously and pa* 
tiently for a long, tim« together, just as you would dp to a 

166.*— To Mra, JEmpson. 

Edinbargb, Saturday, 21 st Deoetaber, 1840. 
Bless your kind heart ! I Cannot tell you how much I 
was moved by your account of Whitey*s report of the 
groups she saw in the hospital/ and the thoughts they bred 
in you. Keep that kind, thoughtful Scotch heart always, 
and do not \et^ London^ or Paley^ or Dolly ^ or any thing, 
dissipate, or philosophize, or seduce you out of it. It is a 
Scotch heart I will maintain against all the world — mean- 
ing that such thoughts and feelings are far more common 
in Scotland than among the English, and sink deeper into 
the character. You will not find one English servant in 
a hundred who would have observed and felt what Whitey 
(who is not naturally contemplative or melting) reported 
of that visitation, though most of them might be prettier 
behaved, and more prompt with expressions of sympathy 
towards their mistresses. So much for my nationality, in 
which I count on your concurrence. This is the shortest 
day by the calendar, but has been half an hour longer than 
any we have seen for the last three weeks, owing to its 
sun, and strange brightness. It has been all day as dear 
as crystal, and with lovely skyish distances. I was re^ 

* His grand-daughter Charlotte. 

TO MRS. EMP80K. 259 

duced to admire its last glares through my lantern lights 
in the court ; from which, after disposing of seventy-four 
wrangling motions, I did not get away till after two, and 
then I drove down with your mother to Granton Pier, 
where we walked ahout till the sun sank beyond Benledi, 
and then peeped into the Clarence steamer, which was his- 
sing, and packing, and screaming at the quay, and really 
looked hoth splendid and inviting, with its spacious cabins, 
bright fireS) and broad mirrors. For a moment I felt 
tempted to throw myself down on one of the sofas, and 
let myself be drifted off to the Thames ! Would it not 
have been a nice lark, now, if we had popped in upon you 
on Monday evening, without bag or baggage, pence in our 
pockets, or shirts to our backs ? And what a sensation, 
and hue and cry, all over Edinburgh, when we were 
missed ! Sut I thought of my.arrear of unsettled judg- 
ments, and so skipped ashore again, and walked back to 
my post of duty. Thermometer was yesterday at 68, Re- 
memberithat when the longest day comes, I think it has a 
fair chance to be colder. To-day it is not so high — only 
about 48 ; but still it is very fine. Your mother had a 
visit from Greo. Napier's lady, and says he looks firmer and 
better, and talks of himself more cheerfully than she has 
known him do for years. Fullerton is off this afternoon 
to Carstairs, and Rutherfurd to-morrow to Airthrey for 
two days. He will see no more of our court, I take it, till 
next November, as he must be up with you before we meet 
again, and so will lose between £2000 and £8000, though 
salary and appeals will partly replace it. God bless you, 
my dearest dear. — ^Ever yours. 

157. — To Mt%. Umpson. 

Kendall, Wednesday eTening, 2d March, 1841. 

Here you see, and all safe and sound, Dolly rolling and 
tumbling on the carpet as fresh as a rose, and as nimble 
as a marmozet. She behaved rather better to-day, slept 


more, and certainly cried less ; and when awake and not 
ingurgitating J on the whole very good company. Her 
principal plaything was my head, to be brushed and tickled 
with the hair of it, and then to clatch first at my ears, 
and then at my nose and eyes, and finally to thrust her 
whole hand into my mouth to be bitten, and then to begin 
all OTer again with roars of laughter. We have come on 
excellently to-day, with the help of four horses to be sure, 
for the worst twenty odd miles of the way, and not stop- 
ping for luncheon. We got in half-past five, and might 
have gone on to Lancaster. But as we do not mean to 
take the night mail to-morrow, it is better for us all not to 
hurry ; and having bespoken beds and dinner, it would not 
have been genteel to have run away from them ; and an 
admirable dinner we have had in the ancient King's Arms — 
with great oaken staircases — uneven floors — ^and very thin 
oak pannel — plaster-filled outer walls^ but capital new furni- 
ture, and the brightest glass, linen, spoons, and china you 
ever saw. It is the same house in which I once slept about 
fifty years ago, with the whole cotQpany of an ancient 
stage-coach, which bedded its passengers three times on 
the way from Edinburgh to London, and called them up 
by the waiter at six o'clock in the morning to go five slow 
stages, and then have an hour to breakfast and wash. It 
is the only vestige I remember of those old ways, and I 
have not slept in the house since. It certainly looks gayer 
internally now. Langholm wa^ actually covered with snow 
when we looked out in the morning, and I had misgivings 
about Shapfells. But the snow left us in a twinkling 
within four miles of our starting, and we saw n6 more of 
it till we got to the said Fells ; and even there, there were 
but sprinklings and patches, and not a grain on the road, 
which was plated for our last twenty miles yesterday. 
This is a great Quaker town you know; but when I walked 
while they were getting dinner, I could not see a single 
broad brim, or sad coloured coat ; and on asking the waiter 


whether there were any Quakers left, he s^rid, « ! dear, 
Sir, all the nohility and gentry of the place are Quakers ; 
but they are all at home dining now, Sir, and you would 
only see mechanics and such like." This I think is edify- 
ing ; only I should have wished to have shown Dolly a 
right home-bred Quaker. We have o»ly forty-five miles 
to-morrow, and though there are light shakings of hail* 
through the calm air, I think we may reckon on housing 
at the Victoria, even earlier than to-day, and finding a 
line from you too — may we not ? 

God bless you, my love. But stop — before ending let 
me say that I wish you would let Dr. Ferguson see Dolly 
the day after she comes, and before you t^ctually dismiss 
her milk can. She sucks so much, that I have a little fear 
of the consequences of too sudden and peremptory an ab- 
lactation; and Ferguson is undoubtedly a first authority 
in such a question. If she was to put herself into a fever, 
or get some alarming disorder in stomach or bowels, you 
would never forgive yourself for having acted rashly, and 
her temperament is irritable enough to have some risk of 
this kind. Good advice is always cheap when it can be 
lawfully and surely bought. 

158. — To MrB, 0. Innes. 

21 Wimpole Street, 
Saturday, 11th April, 1841. 
I begin to fear, from your not taking any notice of me, 
that you found no amusement in my diary of dissipation, 
and are beginning to despise me, as one whose heart is set 
upon vanities. But pray, do not! for it was never more 
in the way of being sick of them, or had more longings* 
after a more tranquil e;xistence, and the soothing appliances 
o£ proved and reliable affection. Why, then, you will say, 
do I persist in those idle courses? and go out twice or 
three times (for there is a fashion of late, long and loqua- 
cious, breakfasts come up, to complete the occupations of 


the day) every day I live ? Why^ do you say, my gentle 
monitress of tbe shore ? Why^ partly, because people ask 
me, and it is difficult to refuse ; partly, because though it 
often wearies and disappoints me, it often amuses also ; 
partly, because one is curious to see^ and talk to persons 
of whom one has heard a great deal ; partly, because I am 
more or less flattered by being noticed among les cSUbritSa; 
and because I expect, and am sure indeed on many occa* 
sions, to learn things worth knowing in these cirdeSi and 
sure, at all events, to get true impressions of the actual 
tone, temper, and habits, of the upper society ; but chiefly, 
and in good earnest, because I think I am laying in stores 
to enlarge and (fiversify the recollections, conversations^ 
and reflections of more sober and rational hours, and ena- 
bling myself to judge better of the value of the rumours 
and reputation, that extend to the provinces, than anybody 
can do who has scarcely been out of them, or > carries & 
provincial atmosphere with him eve^ into London. It is 
from this rebound indeed, more than from the first im- 
pression, that I expect the chief pleasure of my present 
experiences, &c. — ^Yours, very affectionately. 

169.— To Mrs. 0. Innes. 

21 Wimpole Street, 
Friday, 25th April, 1841. 

A thousand thanks for your innocent happy letter, and 
for your violets, which came with all the sweetness of the 
rocky shore on them. We have lots here from Oovent 
Gardeny whiph are sweet enough too, but they do pot 
breathe like those of free wa'^cs, and sea-born breezes, and 
"I have not the heart to 9end you any thing so townish. I 
am glad, too, that you are going the circuit, and hope you 
will not lose heart about it, but go, even if Monday morn- 
ing should be lowering and the babes come clucking under 
your wings. Inverary is so beautiful! and the best view 
of all is from the window of the old large inn; and per- 


haps you urill go over to Strachur too, and go up to Glen- 
branta, high np, if you please, a mile or more above the 
house, and turning to the right hand, and not to the left. 

It is sweet weather still here, and all the young woods,' 
and even the old horsd-chestnuts have staged into leaf, 
and the nightingales into song, as if at a wcnrd <^ oommand* 
And yet we are dying for rain, and should be most thankful 
for ^at I doubt not you will have to spare in that way 
before your western ramble is completed. The horses 
riding over the turf in the park send up clouds of dust 
from their heels, as if from an un watered road, and all the 
gardens are Vke Arabian deserts. There is no memory of 
such a season, or of an April without showers. And now 
will you have more journal? It is very kind in you to 
say that it amuses you. But if it does, I am sure I should 
be very shabby if I grudged you an amusement which 
costs me so little. Where were we at? Had I told you of 
our Good Friday dinner, at home^ with Lords Denman and 
Monteagle, and Wrightson, (all schoolfellows of Empson's,) 
and W.'s wife, and Charlotte's brother-in-law Golden from 
America? and how we were very natural and social, and 
passed a long evening very pleasantly ? On Saturday we 
werje all at Macaulay's with the French minister, Bogers, 
Hallam, Mount S. Elphinstone, Austin, &;c. Sunday I had 
a sweet long ramble with Charley in Begent's Park, and 
sat in gentle discourse with her for more than an hour on 
those upland seats which look orer to Highgate and Hamp- 
stead, and are so fresh and airy. I dined afterward at 
Holland House with rather a large party. 

I sat by C. Buller and Lady S. and Lord Holland and 
T. D. next; and I rather think, from the look of the rest 
of the party, that we had the best of it. Indeed it is 
always the best luck to be near Lord Holland; and I never 
saw him more agreeable. Monday I had a nice quiet fa- 
mily party with the Mintos at the Admiralty. They are 
always so gay and natural. And I was so glad to see Lady 


Mary again, who was a sort of love of mine before her 
marriage, or raj^her before their going abroad in 1834; 
since which time I have never seen her. She is altered in 
appearance, having in fact been very unwell ; but has re- 
tained the same gentle, unsdifish, thoughtful cheerfulness, 
which I used to think so charming. She goes<to Florence 
with her husband in the course of next month. Tuesday 
we all drove down to see the humours of a Greenwich fair, 
which I had not seen for more than twenty years; and 
some of the rest not at alL It was a sweet day; and the 
walk in the park, and under the porticos and terraces of 
that palatial hospital, was the best of it. The groups of 
children, chasing apples and oranges down the green slopefl 
under these grand chestnuts, together with the odd dry 
outbreaks of hot gravel, and the broad gleamy river, stud- 
ded with all sorts of vessels, piized with the domes and 
pillars of the building, and the pinnacles of the Observa- 
tory, brought me strongly in mind of the Panorama of 
Benares and the Ganges, which I had se^n, with great ad- 
miration, the day before.' But I shall never get on, if I 
go into descriptions. I dined afterwards at Sergeant Tal- 
fourd's, &c* , . . . 

Wednesday we all drove out to Holland House, and had a 
sweet walk under the cedars and in the garden, where we 
listened in vain for the nightingales; though both Lord H. 
and Allen challenged them to answer, by divers fat and 
asthmatical whistles. We then dined at Bogers's, with 
Lady G. Lindsay, Sidney. Smith, Mount S. Elphinstone, 
D. Dundas, and two more good men. The talk was more 
placid and gentle than usual; owing, as I maintained, to 
the soft darkness of the room, which was only lighted by 
the reflection of shaded lamps, stuck against the pictures ; 
and I liked it better than the eternal snap and flash of 

y and the terse studied aphorisms of . Yesterday 

I paid a long round of auiurban visits, — Lord Dillon, Mrs. 
Austin, Lady Callcot, and the Macleods, — on foot^ and 


came home delightfully hot and tired. Then we all drove, 
through a golden afternoon^ to dine with the Lahsdownes 
at Richmond. They have a most beautiful villa, just 
below the Stai* and Garter, and commanding the same 
view, with a lovely sloping garden quite down to the water, 
fall of roses and nightingales, and all sorts of fragrant 
shrubs. • • : . . . • • 
We came home in the sweetest starlight, which we S|iw 
clearly reflected in the sheety Thames, which made me 
think of your broader and more pellucid views at the 
Ferry, To-day the ther. is 71, and the sky still without 
a doud. We dine at Stephen's, the author of that paper 
about enthusiasm which I advised you to read, but scarcely 
hope you will like. To say truth, I cannot find anybody 
to like it but myself* But it certainly suits my idw^yn- 
CTOAy (what do you think that is now?) singularly; and I 
am sure it is more like Plato, both in its lofty mysticism, 
and its sweet and elegant style, than any thing of modern 
date. Perhaps Innes may read it on this recommenda- 
tion : the latter half is by far the best. And now Grod 
bless you ! I have brought up my sad confessions once 
more to the ignorant present time, and I daresay you are 
tired of them. In another week my round of folly will be 
completed, and you shall have the poor sequel with a 
sketch of my Hayleybury retreat, waiting for you on your 
return, if you do not instruct me where I could forward it 
to you on your progress. Do you encounter the bugs and 
gas of a Glisisgow hotel ? I should think not, and then 
you will be home sooner. Write me at all events from 
Inverary. — ^Ever affectionately yours. 

160. — To Lord Qocklurn. 

8 Hind Street, 4th May, 1841. 

My dear C. — I am farther gone than ever in dissipa- 
tion, and its concomitant vices — of laziness, neglect of all 
social duties, and utter want of leisure for the very neces- 

Vol. II.— 28 


sities of existence ; so that I cannot afford to give even 
you the merest outline of a chronicle^ such as I used to 
furnish in the days of my (oomparatiye) innocence, of the 
cause and progress of this scandalous dissipation. It may 
be enough, howerer, to entitle me to th« prayers of all 
just men, to know that< I dine out every day, in promis- 
cuous societies of idle men and women. After breakfast 
in similar assemblies, and generally during the evening 
with some devil's vespers of a still ihore crowded, noisy, 
and questionable description. In thii^ career, too, I labour 
under the additional scandal of being alone of my house; 
the three Charlottes* never going forth unless on works 
of necessity or mercy, alul Empson only countenancing 
me in the most sober and decorous of my outgoings. The 
houses where I have been oftenest are those of the Widow 
Holland, the Canon Sidney, the girl Berrys, the poet 
Samuel, and a few others. However, I have been hos- 
pitably entertained, and that more than once, by the Lord 
Chief Justice, and various others of her Majesty's judges, 
Bolfe, Goltman, Alderson, and Parke. Moreover, I have 
assisted at ia grand ball at the Lord Chancellor's ; beea 
twicei invited by the Master of Bolls, as well as by the 
learned the Attorney-General. I have repeatedly met 
most of the cabinet, and endeavoured, though I cannot say 
successfully, to enlighten their sad ignorance of the state 
and rights of our church. Oii the whole, I have had plea» 
sant parties, and been most kindly received by men, 
women, and children. I have seen a great deal of the 
Listers and then* gay bright-hearted Clarendon allies, and 

though I have renewed my vows to my sweet Mary -, 

have fallen dangerously in love with that beautiful Mrs. 

, who was joint sponsor with me last year for one of 

Dr. Holland's babes, and the Bev. Mr. Milman, and a 
few others. I have been engaged every day but one since 

« His wife, daughter, and grandehild. 


I came up, and jet regret to hure been obliged to depline 
iovitations to the Sutherlandg, SomerBots, Garlisles, Greys, 
and Melbonrnes, to say nothing of MisB Burdett Goutts 
and her father* To make amends, however, I ha?e seen a 
good deal of Tommy Moore, who is luckily here on a visit 
like my own ; of Hallam, who has returned in very good 

spirits, after eight months' rustication; of Little , 

wbo is altogether as lively and less brusque and dogmati- 
cal than formerly; and, above all, of Charles Dickens, 
with whom I have struck up what I mean to be an eternal 
and intimate friendship. He lives very near us here, and 
I often run over and sit an hour tSte-d-tStej or take a long 
walk in the park with bim — the only way really to know 
or be known by either man or woijaan* Taken in thie 
way, I think him very amiable and agreeable. In mixed 
company, where he is now much sought after as a lion, he 
is rather reserved, &c. He has dined bere, (for Charlotte 
has taken to giving quiet parties,) and we with him, at 
rather too sumptuous a dinner for a man with a family, 
and only begmning to be rich, though selling 44,000 
copies of his weekly issues, &c. I have also repeatedly 
met Taylor, (Philip Yon Artefelde.) I have also dined 
with Talfourd, and had him here with us. Have often 
visited my mystical friends the Carlisles ; and made a pil- 
grimage the other day to the new abode of old George 
Thomson,* whom I found marvellously entire, though af- 
fecting to regret his too late transplantations from Edin- 
burgh. I need not say that I often see Bichardson and 
his two nice daughters ; and the Mintos, and all my old 
friends. ^ ' 

Is it egotism or what that makes me tire you with this 
idle story of my own poor experience, without saying a 
word of the great public crisis, in the very midst of which 
I am writing? If it were more pleasant or hopeful, I 

* The Gorreepondent of Bums^ 


suppose, I should not so shrink from it. But I have no 
pleasure in thinking of it ; and hairing little to tell that is 
not known to every body, am not much inclined to speak. 
The days of the Whig government are numbered; and 
those of Tory domination About to be resumed, &c. 

It is the sweetest weather in the world; thermometer 
all last week, with the exception of one morning, about 
seventy; with such fresh breezes and silvery showers, and 
such a flush of blossom and foliage, that when I sat thia 
morning in a lonely part of Kensington Garden, and gazed 
on the unsunned freshness of the groves around me, and 
listened to the shrilling larks in the sky above, and saw 
the pearl-coloured clouds reflected in* tho clear sheety 
waters at my feet, I wondered how a thinking and feeling 
man should stoop to care about changes of ministers or 
such paltry matters, &c. 

161.— To Mrg. a Innes. 

HayUybuiy, Saturday 9th May, 1841: 

My dear Mrs. Innes — Though we are but twenty miles 
from London, and go back to it on Monday, I feel as if I 
had not seen any thing of it for ages, and look back al- 
ready on my late course of dissipation there as an old 
recollection, or some dream and imagination, of long past 
days. We are so rural and quiet here, that there can be 
no greater contrast. This house is in a cluster of tall 
shrubs and young trees, with a little bit of smooth lawn 
sloping to a bright pond, in which old wec^ping willows are 
dipping their hair, and rows of young pear trees admiring 
their blooming faces. Indeed, there never was such a flash 
of shadowing high hanging flowers as we have around us; 
and almost all, as it happens, of that pure, silvery, snowy, 
bridal tint; and we live, like Campbell's flhireet Gertrude, 
*«as if beneath a galaxy of overhanging sweets, with blos- 
soms white.' ' There are young horse-chestnuts with flowers 
half a yard long, fresh, full-clustered, white lilacs, tall 


Guelder roses, broad-spreading pear and ch^erry trees, low 
thickets of blooming sloe, and crowds of juiey-looking 
detached thorns, quite covered with their fragrant Maj 
flowers, half open, like ivory filigree, and half shut like 
Indian pearls, «nd all so fresh and dewy since the milky 
showers of yesterday; and resounding with nightingales, 
and thrushes, and sky-larks, shrilling high up^ overhead, 
among the dazzling slow sailing clouds. Not to be named, 
I. know and feel as much as you can do, with your Trosachs, 
and Loch Lomonds, and Inverarys; but very sweet, and 
vernal, and soothing, and fit enough to efface all recollec- 
tions of hot, swarming, whirling, and bustling London from 
all good minds. / 

Well, but you do not know that I have had (and have 
still in a n^anner) a sort of influenza, which has kept me 
from doing little more than dawdling about the doors, and 
may have helped to put all thoughts oj^ my late doings out 
of my head. It caine on two days before I left town with 
a slight trachea^ but was considerate enough not to plague 
me with any feverish feelings till I had fairly got .through 
all my gay engagements, and that very day I wrote last 
to you, it was beginning to tingle in my veins. It has 
been buf light however, and really has not much interfered 
with my enjoyment of this sweet season and soft retreat, 
and innocent domestic life, though I thought it right to 
have the college .doctor to wouder at my admirable treat- 
ment of myself, and to sanction my sal. vols, and antimo- 
nials ; and he and I agreed in consultation this morning, 
that we have effectually turned the flank of the enemy, 
,and that he has Begun his retreat. So we still hold our 
purpose of going to town on Monday, and getting on the 
rail on Wednesday morning. If we do not, I shall pro- 
bably write to you again. I have bad great comfort in 
. reading over your Inverary letter again, partly from the 
freshness with which it brings back those long loved moun- 
.tuB b«Qrs and promontories, sheety waters, and fragrant 



birch woods to my imagination, but chiefly* for the picture 
of yonr own pure, simple, light-hearted enjoyment. Tott 
know how prompt a sympathy I have with happiness in 
almost all its varieties. But yours is of a kind to attract 
me beyond all others, breathing, as it does, the sweet 
spirit of youth, and innocence, and natural taste, and har- 
mony, with the imperishable loveliness of nature. It is 
the share and relish ibr this which is still left me, which 
makes me in some things so much younger than my years; 
but I am all the better for having it reflected upon me from 
the hearts of the really young, and it is an infinite conso- 
lation to me to think that you are so young, that J. shall 
always be able to have it bright and undimmed from yours 
while I can feel or care for, any thing. 

And now, will you have the close of my town journal T 
It is an old story now, and I have, luckily, I believe, for- 
gotten all but the outlines. But here are the fragments : — 
Friday, 24th — At Stephen's (I think I did not mention that 
before) with Macaulay and Mounteagle — (0 ! but I think 
I remember that I did tell you of that) ; and how Macaulay 
exceeded his ordinary excess in talk, and how I Could 
scarcely keep him from pure soliloquy, and how Lord M. 
fell fairly asleep, and our Platonic host himself nodded 
his applause. But no matter — that was the truth of it, 
whether told for the first or second time. Saturday — 'I 
am sure I did not chronicle before, we were at Lord Den- 
man's with Sidney Smith, Rogers, the Mihhans, and that 

beautiful Mrs. D , whom I had not seen for years^ ke. 

We went in the evening (at least I did) to Ba ^'s great 

assembly, where I was set upon by Lady , and con- 
trived very cleverly to introduce her to Talfburd, and to 
leave them together, and then fell into the clutches of that 

cra?y, chattering Lady ^ and was only rescued by 

the kind recognition of poor Lady — — — , who is quit^ 
paralytic, and is wheeled through the room in a diahr, but 
a very sweet-mannered, elegant, and gracious creature fltiH. 

TO MB8. INNSS. 271 

I had talk with various learned persons, and walked home 
in the coolstaTlight^ 

On Sunday, I was asked to be en fdmitle at Holland 
House, hut found sixteen people— foreign ambassadors, 

ahd everybody; but no la,dies but Lady — ^ ^ who is 

always agreeable. Lord H. was full of good talk, and 
trusted me home with his six days' journal of the conver- 
sation at his house in 1B14, made as an experiment of what 
could be done in rivalry of Bosweirs Johnson. It is Very 
entertaining, and contains some capital specimens of Grrat- 
tan, Parr, Frere, Windham, and Erskine; but I quite 
agree with him that it would not have been fair to continue 
it. Monday — ^We had a party at home — the Listers, 
Stephens, Northamptons, and Macleods. It was very hot, 
but came off perfectly, everybody being in good humour. 
Charley looking very nice, and getting on charmingly, with 
Mr. Elphinstone on one side, and Lord Northampton on the 
other, with both of whom she is at ease. Tuesday — The 
two Charlottes and I were at Holland House again, (ijmp* 
son being obliged to be at College,) and again a large 
party. I had the honour of sitting between Lord Mel- 
bourne and Lord Duncannon, with Lord H. but one off, so 
we had the best of the talk. My lady being between the 
French and the Prussian ambassadors, and calling often in 
vain for our assistance on one side, and Lord John Bussell 
on the other, who was busy with C. Buller. The Charlottes 
were delighted with tord H., who had them both by him, 
and talked to them all the time of dinner with so much 
gaycty and good humour. My lady they thought very 
amusing after dinner, and full of kindness to them. I had 
some good talk with:Gruizot after coffee, and a little about 
Dr. Alison and our Scotch poor with Lord John, and came 
home late. Wednesday — ^We were all with Mr. Justice and 
Lady Coltman, where we had Baron Maule, the Attorney, 
and Lady S., and, in short, rather a professional party, 
with the exception of F. Lewis, and Jo. Komilly, and Lady 


who writes books. Lady C. is very agreeable, 

though a zealous Unitarian, and I rather think the only 
truly agreeable person I know of that persuasion. Thurs- 
day — ^A party again at home, and mostly ladies. The 
Denmans, Bichardsons, Campbells, &c., with Baron Bolfe, 
and others. It was very hot again, and there were people 
in. the evenings Oracrofts, Gal verts, and others you do 
not know, and I have not time to describe. Friday — I did 
a great deal of work — drove out to the new Horticultural 
Gardiens at Ghiswick, and walked about among its blos- 
soms an hour — ^.came home in an open carriage, (and got 
my trachea,) then at six went to stand sponsor to Lord 
Holland's last baby, along, with Lady Park, and my pretty 
Mrs. — — . Sidney officiated, and was somehow so much 
moved that he could scarcely get through, and was obliged 
to finish the ceremony sitting. I then hurried off to dinner 
with the Campbells at Paddington, where we had the 
Bishop of Llanda£f and the Dean of Carlisle, invited on 
purpose to meet me. So you see in what esteem my or- 
thodoxy is held among the sages of the south. But not 
to end the day too sanctimoniously, Empson carried me 
at night to a grand city 5aU, in Draper's Hall; not a 
public ball, however, but a rich friend of his lives in the 
adjoining house, and got leave to light the antique premises 
for his party. The rooms are very grand and imposing, 
but being finished with dark carved oak, and mostly car- 
peted with ancient Turkey, looked rather sombre for a ball. 
However, there were 300 people, and a grand supper, from 
which, however, we ran away. It is one symptom of the 
eaormous wealth of this place, that a quiet plain man, who 
has no pretensions to fashion or display, should thus spend 
X600 on one night's dull gayety. Saturday — We break- 
fasted in Regent's Park with Miss Rogers — ^a most lovely 
morning, where we had the poet C. Murray, (the hero of 
the Pawnees,) the Milmans, and Sir C. and Lady Bell. 
Mrs. — — was looking very pretty, and in her nice 


bright pale green gown, and hanging flowers, looked like 
a lily odT the valley just pushing out of its tlelicate eheath. 
We drove afterward and saw Joanna Baillie at Hanitpstead, 
and had another party at dinner (I agtee with you in the 
extravagance and folly of it) at home. The Macaalay% 
and Trevyllians, Rogers, Aiwtins, Polgraves. 

Sunday^ — ^We went early to Bushy Park and Hampton 
Court-^a most splendid day, though the east wind rather 
sharp for my poor trachea. We walked about, (too long 
for its good,) the horse-chestnuts all in flower, but the leaves 
scarcely fully unfurled. . The Hampton Court Gardens are 
really beautiful, and so gay with wel^dressed, moral-look* 
ing, happy peopll9. * Empson and I then went to dine with 
W. Murray"*^ at the Temple, where we had excellent turtle 
and champagne-^Lord Denman, Mr. Elphinsioiie, and Sir 
GeO.Philip8 — only less wine than usual, and a long talk after 
coffee, with Elphinstone especially, till my feet got cold, and 
the trachea took half my voice away, when we came home 
inglorious, in a c^b. Monday — I went to the exhibitions, 

and dined at— — with a great TorhiMre party 

— Lord . Tyrconnel and spouse,. Lady F. Grahame, some 
Beresfords, a Mrs. Somebody who sat by me, and took me 
all the time of dinner for the Bishop of Bipon, in spite of 
my brown coat and white waistcoat, and laughed like a 
hyaena when she found out the mistake. The bishop's wife 
was sitting opposite, but he was detained in the Lords, and 
did not come till dinner was over. I thought him the most 
agreeable bishop I ever saw, and very good looking, and I 
hope he will come to jhow himself to you in Scotland. We 
had my old friends. Sir George Cayley, and Miss too, and 
Lady Worsley and her daughter in the evening*' I liko all 
the Cayleys. I called to bid the Berrys farewell on my 
way home, but found they had gone to Richmond for the 
season that morning ; so I came home, and here at last 

• William Murray, Esq. of fitfnd^rlaad. 


ends the history of my five weeks' Lond<»i exprnencea, 
more faithfully and largely recited than such things ev^r 
were before, or ever will, or deserve to be recited again. 
Next morning I had yoor letter, and wrote to you, and 
oame down here with a great deal of languid fever about 
me. But we drove through the sweet shades of Panshanger 
on Wednesday, and sat under their grand oak. We have 
been altogether and delightfully alone ever since, and, in 
spite of some little languor, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. 
.The country road is wavy and woody, very green, and 
bounded by a ridge of hills, though low enough to be all 
cultivated and wooded. The streams clear, for England, 
running over beds of green flags or grass, and pretty rapid. 
And now God bless you. I am sure I have been a good 
correspondent — ^better perhaps than you could bargain for 
again, but no matter. I hope you went to Strachur, and 
up by Loch Sck, and Ardentinny, and that you are at 
home now, and as hkppy as when you were wandering. 
With kindest love to all your house from all ours here. If 
I were in town I would send you a stamped cover, but they 
have not yet reached these distant parts. — Ever affection- 
ately yours. 

162. — To John Richardson^ Esq. 

E. I. College, Moni^ay, Ist NoTember, 1841. 
My dear Richardson — I really cannot wUh you joy of 
your impending loss of such a daughter as my gentle, 
sensible, dutiful, and cheerful Hopey,"*" and I do not know 
that I can even wish her joy of such a separation. ^ Yet I 
feel assured that there will be joy, lasting and growing, 
for you all, and that in no long time we shall wonder that 
anybody thought of murmuring at so happy a dispensa- 
tion. In the mean tixne, however, the only person I can 

* Who was going to be married to Heniy BeeTe, Esq. 


candidly congratulate is Mr. Reeve, whom I think far bet^ 
ter entitled to the^ name of ^^the fortunate youth" than 
any to whom it hfts erer been applied. I have scarcely 
the honour of his acquaintance, (though, if I live, I hope 
to have;) but I perfectly remember of meeting him at 
dinner at your house, and being struck with his vivacity 
and talent, and alse of breaking in upon him in a morn*- 
ing call on Hopey and her sister, when certain vague sus- 
picions lind envyings did pass across my imagination. Bo 
tell my dear Hopey how earnestly I wish and pray for her 
happiness, and that I hope she will not entirely cut me 
now that she is to become the centre of a separate circle, 
4ic. — ^Ever affectionately yours. 

163.— To Mrs. Rutherfurd. 

Torquay, Friday Evening; 29tli April, 1842. 
My very dear Sophia — I bad actually begun a letter of 
consolation to you, in your widowed solitude of Colme 
Street or Craigie Hall, when I h,eard from Harriet Brown 
that you had taken the wings of the morning, and flown 
away to your native bowers in the far west ; so I thought 
you would need no immediate consolation, and might hold 
my tediousness too cheap. But as I am coming home at 
last, after a weary absence of nine long months, I must 
bring myself a little to your recollection, tha£ we may not 
meet as absolute strangers, and also that you may be pre- 
pared for some of the unhappy changes I am ftfraid you 
will find in me. In my heart, and my love to you, I think 
you will find none ; and it is through these that I hope to 
retain my identity. Bht you will find me some years older 
than when we parted ; with whiter hair, a eliower and more 
infirm step, «most weak hams,'' as the satirical scene has 
it, — a weaker voice, and a greater inability to eat, drink, 
or sleep \ so that, though I am not yet, << sans teeth, sans 
eyes, sans breath, sans every thing," and do not drop 


much amber or plom-tree gum from my eyelids^ — ^I ma 
▼orgingy with unreasonable celerity, to decay, and am 
already in a condition which will require all the indulgence 
I now bespeak of you. So you must be a good girl, and 
play the Netly to me, now and then, keeping me out of 
scrapes, and cheering my failing spirit with the spectacle 
of your brightness, and sustaining it by the strength of 
your affection ; and this you do promise and engage, as 
God shall bless and assist you ? To be sure you do ; and 
there is no more to be said about it* 

Were you ever here at Torquay? A most beautiful 
place I think it is, and lovely both at sea and on shore ; 
though the east wind has found us out eten here, and 
blown upon us indeed ever since we fled bo far before it 
But it has blown, it must be confessed, with a gentleness 
unknown to the vernal Hums of Edinburgh, or even of 
London, and through a sky, and over a sea of the most 
dazzling and unsullied blue^ and barely stirring the tender 
green leaves and crimson apple^bldssoms, which, in spite 
of its warnings, are flushing all over the country. We 
tired of the racket of the hotels after two days' trial, and 
were lucky enough then to find very nice lodgings in a de* 
tached house, about a mile beyond Uie town, which stands 
in a sort of lawn, immediately over the beach, and in the 
centre of a beautiful bay, bounded by two headlands of 
dark-red, caverned rock, not ef quarter of a mile asunder; 
against which the great waves come bursting and thunder- 
ing all day long, and then waste themselves^ in long lines 
of silver, on the smooth sands at our feet* You have no 
idea how much I have enjoyed the perfect solitude and 
profound repose of this situation, with the lovely moon- 
light, and eternal brightness, with which it has been 
cheered for the last ten days. To give my poor trachea 
all the chances thatare left in it^ we shall linger here till 
Monday (2d), and then start for Hayleybury, where, how- 
over, we shall stay but a very few days ; and, after Mop- 


ping bat two days in town for a farewell eonsultation of 
mj doctorei, embark on th^ rail for Lancaster in time to 
reach Edinburgh on the 13th or 14th. t 

You will> be bactk, too, about that time, will you not ? 
and I shall see you soon after my arrival. I have misgiT- 
ings about being able to resume my work, after all. But 
the fiual experiment must now be tried, and I feel that I 
shall not be at all cast dpwn by its failure. I am sure 
that there dan be no failure in the other experiment — of 
returning to the society of the friends on whose kindness 
I rely ; and that makes every thing else indifferent. I 
can tell you nothing of your truant husband. He has 
nevefr bad the grace to write to me, though I heard from 
Lady Theresa, the other day, that he had appeared before 
her in great health and spirits. He would probably tell 
you of Lister himself, for whom I cannot help having 
great apprehensions ; and I can see that, with all her buoy- 
ancy of hope and spirits, she is not without deep anxiety. 

We know nobody here but a brother of Macaulay's, 
who married a very sweet and beautiful daughter of Lord 
Denman's last December, and has been honeymooning with 
her here ever since. He has the robust spirits, and stout 
and kind heart of his brother, though wi^out any of his 
fine understanding, and, indeed, is chiefly remarkable for 
being alivej after a ten years' residence at Sierra Leone. 
However, they are very^asy people to live with, i&nd, be- 
sides the constant spectacle of happiness with which they 
delight me, hare carried us to all their lover's walks, and 
whispering places in the ocean caves, and we have driven 
together to Dartmouth and Dawlish, and laid in the germs 
of many pleasant recollections. I sometimes think that I 
am rather better too, since I have come to these milder 
regions ; and when I run. out as I generally do (" on my 
printless feet") to « chase the ebbing Neptune, and to fly 
him when he comes back," for- a few minutes before break- 
fast, and then come back to the airy quietude of our octa- 

VoL. n.--24 


gon drawing-room, with its two sannj windows, letting in 
silent stripes of green light through its Venitians, and the 
shady one wide open, I think I should like to stay here 
always, and fade gently away, with the last flowers of 
automn. But things will be as they are appcunted ; and 
having all my life been contented to move ^passively with 
the quiet current, which will bear us all on its destined 
course, whether we struggle agjHiinst it or not, I do not 
think of any feeble movements to modify its direction in 
these last days of the voyage ; and so, God bless and keep 
you always, my very dear Sophia. 

If you write, immediately on receiving this, to E. I. 
College, near Hertford, I shall get your letter before start- 
ing. If not, I shall hope to come to the contact of your 
written Oft living hand, immediately on my arrival at Edin- 
burgh. Q. sends her best love, and our little Scottish girl 
i^so, whom we carry back with us to Edinburgh. Ever, 
most affectionately yours. 

164. — To Andrew Butherfurd^ Usq. 

Edinburgh, Saturday, 11th July, 1842. 
My dear B. — A word only to thank you ^ for your kind 
letters, before I go to keep tryst with Cockburn on the 
green at Craigcrook. This is the first fair Saturday we 
have had this month, and the last of our sessional Satur^ 
nalia. We shall have Charley back, however, before the 
next, and you and Sophia may I not hope before one or 
two more ? But, oh dear, volvuntur anni ! You do not 
care, for there are many coming to you before your score 
(of three score and ten) is up. But when the current is 
visibly almost out, and when every whirl of the Fates' 
swift spindle shows the dark weed through the few remain- 
ing coils of grizzly wool, the reflection is not so pleasant. 
It does not oppress me much, however, though it comes 
oftener than it used to do. But this is not Saturnalian 


language, and I do not know bow I fell into it. <f Talk 
not of fate ; ah — change the theme : talk of odours, talk 
of wine;" and so we shall — ^at dinner, and with you too 
when you come to dine with us. 

We have not had a club since you went; and if you do 
not come back soon, that venerable institutioii will be not 
Uleeping but d«ad. 

165^-^To Mr. Umpson. 

£It i9 Djot dated, and henoiB is misplaced here ; but it was written early 
in 1840, some time prior to the passing of the 3d and 4th of Victoria, 
chapter 9.] 

Sie edgitavit — F. J. 

I suppose you admit that there & privUege^ as to some 
things, and that we have now nothing to. do with the ques- 
tion whether there ought to he? whether the rights and 
powers of House of Commons, or Lords, or of legislti- 
ture itself, should be subordinated, as in America, to the 
judiciary, or be, to some extent, independent ? And yet 
there is a hankering after tho American rule, and a con- 
stant raising of the question of what ought to be in all the 
anti-privilege argument. 

But, assuming that there is privilege within <;ertain lim- 
its, the question really comes to be, who is the judge of 
these limits ? who to determine when they have been ex- 
ceeded?— to fix, in short, the distinction between the use 
cmd the abuse ? ' ' 

Now, considering either the actual origin of privilege, 
or the nature of that sense of public advantage, or quasi 
necessity, which hasr led to its assumptiony I have always 
thotight that the power (and the )^ight) of judging to what 
cases it should apply, ean only be in the body which pos- 
sesses it. It is easy to say that if this be so, any thing 
may be declared a breach of privilege, and every thing 


left to the mercy of an irresponsible despotism) and to 
state extreme cases in which startling acta of injustice and 
cruelty may haviQ actually been perpetrated under this prin^ 
ciple. But this is poor^ apd I cannot but think very pal- 
pable» nonsense. 

Is it not answered at once, and quite as sufficiently as it 
deserves, by directing the same twaddle against the courts 
of law ? If they are always to judge what is within privi- 
lege, may they not at any time' determine that there is 
nothing within it ? If by leaving the question to the H. 
of C. every thing may be brought within privilege, is it not 
equally clear that, by leaving it to the courts of law, all 
privilege may be entirely annihilated ? 

The short of it is, that while men are but men, we mi|st 
be at the mercy of a fallible and irresponsible despotism 
at last ; and if I had to choose, as in an open question, I 
should not hesitate to say that I would far rather have 
the House of Commons for my despot than the courts of 

No reasoning is so puerile as that from extreme (or 
morally impossible) cases. They may be of use some- 
times to test an abstract proposition of law; but, as make 
weights in a practical question, they are absolutely con- 
temptible. I do not think it makes much, difference 
whether they are purely imaginary, or borrowed from 
antiquated precedents, and either way they may always 
be retorted on those who adduce them. Are there no 
cases of atrocious oppression and injustice in the decisions 
of those courts of law to whose infallibility you would 
have recourse from the privileged oppressions of Parlia- 
ment? Are there no such cases in the acts of the legisla- 
ture itself J which we must all admit to be without remedy? 
Nay, will any man teU me that there is the smallest 
chance of any siich oppression being attempted by the 
present H. of C, as has be^n over and over again inflicted 
by the whole legislative body? 

TO KB. BKPSOfT. 281 

Tliexiy again, as to the quibble, that, in the exercise of 
privilege, the H.,of C. is at once party atid judge, — ^I 
Bay, that in all cases of disputed jurisdiction or contempt, 
(which is precisely the case here,) the court is always both 
party and judge; and that courts of law have mudb more 
of the esprit du cQrps — ^the unfair leaning to their order — 
than any other bodies whatever. 

X confess/ too, that I can see no ground on which the 
courta have recently overruled the privilege of the H. of 
C, that might not justify their overruling it, in the cases 
in which it has b^en held best established, and has not 
yet been questioned^ Take the privilege, for example, 
of members not being answerable, anywhere, for wDrds 
spoken in Parliament. It is possible that such words 
may not only be ruinously defamatory, but capable of 
being clearly proved tQ have been dictated b^ the basest 
and most abominable personal maMce. Why, then, should 
not the Court of Queen's Bench, on the grounds lately as* 
sorted, allow an action for damages on offer of such proof? 
Th^ case of an alleged defamation being pubUahed by the 
deliberate order and authority of the whole House, seems 
to me a far stronger case for the assertion (or allowance) 
of privilege, than that of a spiteful individual sheltering 
himself under that shield ; and so, in all the other admitted 
cases under which it would be easy enough to imagine the 
most infamous injustice* 

If it be said that ,there is established usage and prece- 
dent for such, cases, but none for those recently brought 
forward, I answer that there is no such series of prece- 
dents as would justify these, admitted and established 
cases, on the ground of authority and prescription, with- 
out justifying at the same time a great number of other 
cases, which no one now pretends to justify; that, in 
point of fact, there are more precedents for a confessedly 
unjustifiable exercise of privilege than for that which is 
now universally allowed to be just and necessary, and 



tliat these establiBhed cases have accordingly been so es- 
tablished, not on the footing of long usage, but on the 
general {not judicial) recognition of the H. of C. having 
rightly adjudged them to be neeessary for the due por^ 
formance of their all-important functions and duties. 

It is to this necessity accordingly, and to their own en- 
lightened and conscientious sense of it, that the House x>f 
Commons has always referred its, assertion of privilege, 
either in former or recent times ; and if, in their improved 
and cautious application of the prineiph, they have seen 
cause to abandon and recede from many precedents to be 
found on their records, why or how should they be re- 
strahied from now extending it to any new and emerging 
cases, (if any such actually occur,) while they feel and are 
convinced that it is at least as applicable as to any to 
which it had been previously applied ? 

If it be admitted then (and I do not see how it can be 
denied) that, independent altogether either bf precise pre- 
cedent, or near analogy, it is right and fit that privilege 
should exist (always meaning by that, not merely the right 
of adjudging and ordering, in the first instance, but the 
absolute exclusion of all interference^ review, or control^ 
whenever it is necessary for the right performance of the 
highest of all public functions, as those of legislation; 
then the only question is, "whether the right of judging of 
this necessity should (or must) be in the respective legisla- 
tive bodies themselves, or in the courts of common law ? 
To my mind there can be but one answer. . 

In the first place, this right has, in point of fact, always 
been assumed and exercised, and in a vast majority of 
cases, without challenge, by these bodies, on their own 
proper authority; and all their existing and admitted 
privileges have accordingly grown up and been established 
upon this assumption of inherent right ; and never in any 
case on the strength of any grant or recognition of them 
in any other quarter. Then, though the courts have oc- 


casionallj brought them into question, and refused to re- 
cognize them, I believe there is no instance in which their 
right to do so has been acknowledged by these bodies. 
For, though I am aware that there are one or two (at 
most) in which, after such disallowances by the courts, 
they have abstained from proceeding against the offen- 
ders — ^yet I believe it will be found that this was always 
done on an avowed change of their own opinions as to the 
ne'eessity of such proceedings, and not on any deference 
or submission to the judicial authority. But if all existing 
privilege has thus originated in assumption alone, why 
should any other title be now required ? or is it not rtdieu- 
lou% to pretend that under the present constitution of tho 
House of Commons, and the'growiilg power of public 
opinion, there can be any serious dangers from its exer- 
cise ? 

But if the matter were open for reasoning, can any. 
body doubt that, when the question is, whether an occa- 
sion has actually arisen in which the assertion of privilege 
is necessary to the right and effectual exercise of the legis- 
lative functions, the only body that ever can be competent 
to decide on it, must be that in which the occasion has so 
arisenr? who alone can be aware of the obstructions that 
might otherwise impede them ; and who must not only 
know all about it far better than any other can ever be 
made to know, but must often have their best and safest 
motives suggested by that feeling and conseientia pf their 
position and embarrassment, which no proof or explana- 
tion can ever make intelligible, to another? that other 
especially being a body accustomed only to the applica- 
tion of technical and inflexible rules, and of whom a great 
part have probably had no experience of the working, or 
requisites^ of preparatory legislation ? I must add, too, a 
body which has almost always been hostilo to popular 
rights, and disposed to be obsequious to authority, and of 
whose interference with constitutional questions it is right 


therefore ta be jealous. The House of Oomn^ons hais bo 
doubt often used its privilege in subseryience to arista- 
orotic or regal propensities ; yet not so uniformly or basely 
as the courts of law; and though both are Jmproyed in 
this respect, the improvement undoubtedly is far greater 
(especially since the Reform Bill) in the House of Com- 
mons than in the courts. 

As to ^'s argument as to the insufficiency of the 

remedy by privilege — as the House of Commons can only 
imprison during its session, and no sentence or execution 
can proceed in recess, I can only say, that it has no bearing 
whatever on the merits of the question, and is well enough 
answered by suggesting, that imprisonment during a long 
session is no very light infliction, and that the fear of it 
must operate (as we have seen it operate) to deter many 
from t)eginning, or persisting in opposition to the resolutions 
of the House. The most remarkable thing about that 
argument, however, is the contrast it presents to the 
exaggerated views which have been taken of the terrible 
consequences of these ocoasional assertions of privilege, 
and the ridicule, indeed, which it thrower on their fantastie 
alarms. It is certainly edifying to dee one leading assaiU 
ant of this claim maintaining that, if not instantly crushed, 
it will lay the property and constitution of the country at 
the feet' of a many-headed despot ; and another holding it 
up to contempt as a puny demonstration of impotent anger, 
which can give no real distinction to what it affects to 

Upon these views generally, you will at once se6 that I 
hold all references to past instances of admitted abuse as 
of no account whatever in the argument ; and still less, of 
course, any objection to the wisdom, propriety, or even 
consistency, of any recent resoliition that a ^ase had oc* 
curred for the assertion of privilege. The issue in all 
such cases being, whether such assertion was, or was not 
necessary, (or highly e;spedient) in each particular ease, 

TO MR. EMPSON., 286 

for the explication ^nd due performance of legialatiTe 
duties, a difference of opinion, on the part of a present 
minority (or of a. vast majority of an after generation), 
can. no more bring into question the right of the general 
body to decide, and act upon its decision, in the case of 
the H. of C, than in any other case of doubtful or. erro- 
neous decision. The legislature has often enough, passed 
absurd and sanguinary statutes; courts of law (including 
the House of Lords) have still oftener pronounced arbi- 
irary and foolish and corrupt judgments, and no doubt 
have made oppressive and vindictive commitments for 
alleged contempt. Bat no one, I suppose, has ever main- 
tained, that the citation of such instances afforded any 
argument against the Qzistenpe of the legislative and 
judicial powers in these several bodies, Qr had the slightest 
relevancy indeed in such an argument. v. 

But though J should, a0 a judge, hold the solemn asser- 
tion of privilege by the House of Commons as sufficient to 
Btop all courts from thwarting or interfering with it, I can- 
not disguise from myself that many excellent persons^ as 
well as almost all other Judges, do in fact think differently ; 
— and that a question of Jurisdiction being once raised, on 
which they are bound to decide, it is difficult to say that 
they are not entitled to .give out and maintain their con- 
scientious decision, although its enforcemenjb may conflict 
directly with the orders of one of the Houses of Parlia^ 
n^nt. Bi)jth parties, in short, as in all cases of disputed 
jurisdiction, may not only be right m foro poli, but be 
under an indispensable obligation to enforce their conflict- 
ing decisions. You in England may have generally been 
able to get out of the difficulty by appeal to the Lords. 
Bat with us in Scotland it is truly as inextricable in 
this contest about privilege, as in the case of conflict 
between the Session and Justiciary, and in the late memo- 
table Itttte between Session and General Assembly ; — ^both 
Justiciary and Assembly being absolutely final, and ad- 


mitting of no appeal to any other tribunal. In many 
respects, indeed, these caseer are strikingly parallel to the 
present ; for as there is no reriew of the decisions of the 
Commons by appeal to the Lords, and as, in point of fact, 
these conflicts npon privilege have often been with the 
* Lords themselvesj it is obviously quite absurd to suppose 
that they either ever would, or ought ever to recognize 
any higher jurisdiction in the^ appellate, law court, than in 
those lower ones with which their conflict may have begun. 
It may be doubted whether it was wise even to plead to 
the jurisdiction in these courts ; but of couriaie they never 
could plead to anything else, nor without a full disclamation 
of any obligation to stand by the decision. 

The only remedy, then, for this conflict must be by 
legislation ; and though I foresee infinite difiEiculty in ad- 
justing the terms of any enactment on the^ subject, I 
confess I do not go along with those high advocates of 
privilege who maintain that they ought to resist any at^ 
tempt to bring in even an unobjectionable statute in regard 
to it. Even they, I should think, would scarcely maintain 
that it would not be for their ease and dignity, as well as 
for the general good, that an act should be passed inter- 
dicting and enjoining the courts of law from entertaining 
any suit importing a disallowance of any assertion of privi- 
lege by the House of Commons as to certain matters and 
things ; and I confess this would be the leading and main 
enactment of any statute I should like to see proposed on 
the subject. But I should have no objection to its also 
containing a disclamation of all claim of privilege, in those 
cases of admitted abuse which haye actually occurred, and 
in such other cases as might be agreed upon ; and though 
it might be difficult to come to an agreement, yet I do not 
think it altogether hopeless, considering the constant vex- 
ation of such discussions as the present ; and above all, I 
can see no reason why the House should refuse to enter 
upon the consideration, as they are quite certain that no 


act can ever pass except with their full and deliberate as- 
sent to everything it contains. 

Oratffcrooky Thur^dc^y. — I had not room on the margin 
yesterday to say all I wished as to the House of Commons 
being more of a party than the courts in questions of 
privilege, and of the greater responsibility of the latter; 
and the chief thing omitted Was — that almost all the oases 
in whicl^ the House appears as a party — ^as in punishing 
for libel on House or members, or partial publication of 
evidence pending certain inquiries — it is admitted^ both by 

'. and , that the assertion of privilege is clearly 

righty and may be necessary ; while in the recent Cases, 
on which all — — 's invective is showered, the House does 
not at all appear as a party, and is a party no otherwise 
than the courts are, when they afterwards do take up these 
same cases. The parties to alL these cases are individuals 
injured, and slanderers, and they come before the House 
as a proper judicial body by petition, either for leave to 
sue the action, or for an order to have injunction against 
its proceeding, in which the question of the conflicting 
claims of the House on one hand, and the courts on the 
other y to the executive disposal of such cases^ is no doubt 
raised by these parties^^and judgment demanded on it, in 
either; the relation in which the House and the courts 
stand to these parties, and to the cause, being precisely 
identical in all respects in the two tribunals, and being in 
no way different from what must subsist in every case of 
disputed jurisdictiofi "which maybe successively (or even 
simultaneously) brought by the proper parties before the 
courts whom it concerns. 

I should have liked^ too, Xo have pressed more distinctly 
on you, that the very basis and whole ground of my opi- 
nion being on the proposition that there is and miMt he an 
uncontrolled and irresponsible privilege, wherever its ex- 
ercise is necessary or material to the due discharge of 


legislative fanetions — and, consequently,, that the only 
quBBtion that can ever be raised in any particular case, is, 
whether it actually presents such a case of moral necessity ? 
And considering how large, and loose, and broad, such, a 
question must always be, I think it must at once occur 
that it is peculiarly unfit for a court used only to deal with 
precise and definite principles, and can only be safely 
trusted to a body necessarily and ea^cZu^iveZy acquainted 
with all the special circumstances out of which the neces- 
sity may arise ; — and that the~H. of G. being alone siv^h a 
body, its decision upon it is far more likely to be right 
than that of a court of law. Both, I have already said, 
are truly in pari casu^ as to being parties or judging in 
their own cause ; and the only real question is, as to which 
should give way, or be of paramount authority, on the as- 
sertion of its jurisdiction 7 Lookii^ only to the descrip- 
tion of the two bodies, I cannot think this doubtful ; the 
one, a small handful of royal nomineeSy presumed to be 
without party bias, and to baive it as their first duty to 
agree and be unanimousy — the other, alarge assembly, iu- 
cluding, of course,, all those best acquainted with constitu- 
tional law and principle, but so. divided by party, as to be 
most unlikely to agree by any great majority in any thing 
not clearly right, and far more under the influence of en- 
lightened public opinion than any other body ever can be,^ 
and having really no common interest to pervert their 
judgment. If a jury of twelve men is thought the safest 
ultimate judge of most such questions — for the small chance 
it holds out of having some of these qualities, — ^is not a H. 
of C, chosen as purs now is, far better than such a jury ? 
But I have taxed you too much about this already-Hknd 
liheravi animum. 

Here is my last word. a^)out privilege : — 

You do not admit that the House of Commons has right, to 
exer<;ise (without control) all the powers which it thinks ne- 
cessary for its legislative functions. But I think you dp, 


and must, admit, that it has and ought to have, all that 
are truly necedsarj for that purpose ; and the solid ques- 
tion therefore is, who is to judge what are so necessary ? 
« Upon all eonst^tUianai and regional grounds I hold the 
House of Commons much fitter and safer than any court 
of lair, or the whole twelve nominees of the crown in a 
body. Though you do not admit mjf principle to this ex- 
tent, you must SMlmit (if you have a particle of candour) 
that, for the purpose of settling what is, and should be, 
privilege, the principle, test, and rule of judgment, must 
be what is truly necessary; or very material, for the best 
discharge of legislative duties? and thata.ll reference either 
to precedents or abuses is wholly and generically irrelevanU 
If you do not admit this, I think you are n6t to be argued 
with; and the admission brings the case at once to the 
point I have mentioned. 

This is the first stage of iny argument, and in substance 
there is but another ; and that is, that the whole question, 
as I have now stated it, being plaialy and rigoronsly a 
question of conflicting jurisdiction, each of the courts or 
bodies must have ah equal right (or duty) to adjudicate 
upon it, when brought before them, and be equally liable 
to the temptation of deciding it in their own favour — the 
matter to be adjudged being, in all cases, the same — ^viz., 
Whether the privilege asserted or questioned in any-par- 
ticukr case, is truly essential to the right exercise of legis- 
lative functions ? which, again, is plainly either a question 
oi fact and jexperience, or of mere cons^tutional policy, 
tod never, in any just sense, a question, of law. 

This is the^sum of my argument ; and I think I am right 
in saying that it is not so much as touched by *s de- 
clamation, and but slightly by the details and reasonings 
of — . ^ 

The whole, then, ijresolving into a conflict of independen}; 
«nd supreme jurisdiction, I agree that there is no final or 
practical solution but by legislation, upon the assumption 

Vol. IL— 26 T 


(now, I fear, but too necessary) that neither party will be 
convinced by the reasonings of the other. I do not there- 
fore go at all along with those who hold legislative inter- 
ference incompetent or onconstitutional — ^which, indeed, 
cannot, I think, be even consistently asserted. Bat the 
question for the legislature is necessarily a question of 
€tate policy^ and nothing else, and one upon which public 
opinion ought to be previously matured by large public 

ThU may be one answer to your pragmatical and empi- 
rical question, why the two Houses, having common cause, 
and substantial power over the crown, do not at once settle 
the matter by an act, which they evidently may have all 
their own way ? The necessity of taking public opinion 
with them is one answer. But, practically, there are many 
others. 1st. The two Houses are jealous of each other, 
and not likely to have the same specific questions of pri- 
vilege before them at the same time; and so, might justly 
apprehend unreasonable, factious, and unfair interference 
mutually; and 2d. To do any good, the statute should 
embody a full code of privilege, which it would obviously 
be infinitely difficult to digest, while a successive settling 
of special questions by consecutive enactments would not 
go to the root of the conflietj and would every day lead to 
greater risk of inconsistency and injustice; yet I think 
such a course will soon be inevitable. 

166.-^0 Mn. Smpson. 

Graigcrook, Sunday (1842). 

One Other Scottish Sunday blessing on you, before we 
cross the border; and a sweet, soothing, Sabbath-quiet day 
it is, with little sun, and some bright showers, but a silver 
sky, and a heavenly listening calm in the air, and a milky 
temperature of 67; with low-flying swalbws, and Ichid- 
bleating lambs, and sleepy murmuring of bees round the 

TO MRS. EMP80N. 291 

heavyheaded flowers, and freshness and fragrance all about. 
Granny* went to the Free Church at Muttonhole, and 
Tarleyt and I had our wonted walk of speculation— I show- 
ing her over again, how the silk, and the muslin, and the 
flannel of her raiment were prepared; with how much 
trouble and ingenuity; and then to the building of houses 
in all their details; and to the exchange of commodities 
from one country to another — ^woollen cloth for sugar, and 
knives and forks for wine, &c. ; all which she followed and 
listened to with the most intelligent eagerness. She then 
had six gooseberries, of my selection, in the garden, and 
then she went up to Ali.| I went to meet Oranny, on 
her way from the Free, whom I found just issuing from it, 
with the ancient pastor's wife, — ^the worthy Doctor himself 
having prayed and preached, with great animation, foi^ 
better than two hours, in the 82d year of his age !§ Soon 
after we came home, Butherfurd came up from Lauriston, 
and we strolled about for a good while, when Charlotte 
and I conducted him on his way back, and are just come 
in at five o'clock. An innocent day it has been, at any 
rate, I think; and yet the heart is not right, and I have 
no feeling of health throughout the twenty-four hours. 
But I do not suffer, and am really alert and cheerful when 
the spasms are off, and have an existence of many enjoy- 
ments. Though the malady is in the circulation, I have 
little doubt that the immediate cause is dyspepsia; and 
therefore I think it may be obviated, or at all events 

It would do any heart good to see the health and hap- 
piness of these children ! The smiling, all-enduring, good 
humour of little Nancy, and the bounding spirits, quick 

* Mrs. Jeffrey. 

f Charlotte, his eldest grandahild, bom 7th April, 1888. 
X A nursery maid. 

{ The Key. Dt. Miiirhead, formerly the Established, then the Free, 
minister of Cramond* 


aenubilityy and redandant vitality, of Tarlej. I sent joa 
eaations aboat Meggie, and her Toyages and trayels, yester- 
day ; to which, if she goes before we come, I hope yon win 
attend, and not laagh at a grandpapa's anxieties. I had a 
nice letter from Empson last night (just a week old), and 
was glad to find from it, that his stay by the fountains* 
was to be so much shorter than I had imagined. He talks 
of coming away about the 7th, in which case he would be 
with you in ten days after we came, which would be delight- 
ful. I had feared he would not be coming till September. 
Now, if we hold our purpose of moTing on Friday, this 
will be the last letter you can answer to Edinburgh. But 
we shall tell you to-morrow how you are to address after. 
I hope your heats are abated. With us the air is quite 
cool to*day, ther. only at 67; and I think there will be 
more showers. I wish you could see our roses, and my 
glorious white lilies, which I kiss every morning with a 
saint's devotion. We have been cutting out evergreens, 
and extending our turf, in the approach; and it looks a 
great deal more airy and extensive. Would you could 
have come to see it ! But it will be still better next year, 
when you must and shall come. Heaven bless you! 

167.— To Mm Berry. 

Craigerook, Sunday, 24th July, 1842. 

My dear Miss Berry — I think you will like to hear that 
your old fellow-sufferer has got through his spell of summer 
work, and is at least as well as when he began it. I hope, 
too, that you will expect to hear that he is most anxious 
to learn whether you have got as well through your spell 
of summer idleness ? for, though he has not been entirely 
without tidings of you since he saw you, they have of late 
been scanty, and nevier had the authenticity which belongs 
to the autograph of the party concerned, &;c. 

* Mr. Empson was at Wiesbaden. 


Yoa "will understand, then, that I want to know about 
yonr health and spirits generally, and how you have been 
employing yourself, and what you intend to do with the 
remainder of the season, and with what views you look be- 
fore and after, upon this shifting pageant of life 7 For my 
part, I think I grow more tranquil and contented, and I 
fancy, too, more indulgent to others, and certainly not less 
affectionate to those from whom I look for affection. Bat 
I want a few lessons still from you, and should be glad to 
be confirmed in what is right, and warned against what is 
wrong, in my estimate of the duties and enjoyments that 
may remain for declining age, &c. What a number of. 
people have died since I was nearly given over, and in the 
fullness of time, too, last Christmas ! And so many that 
seemed entitled to reckon on long yea;rs, and of happy 
existence ! It is very sad to think of; and I can seldom 
contrast their fate with my own without feeling as if I had 
unjustly usurped a larger share of our common vitality than 
I had any right to; and more especially when I feel that 
I shall make no good use of what has been so lavished on 
me, &c. 

I hope you are not quite so much alarmed as I am at 
this wide spread and lasting distress of the country, and 
wish you could give me comfort upon that, as well as other 
causes of anxiety. But my fears I acknowledge, ^< stick 
deep," because I see in the gloomy aspect of affairs not so 
much the fruit of any mis1»ken policy or injudicious tena- 
city of mischievous restrictions, as the symptoms of that 
inevitable decay, which I h)&ve long anticipated from the 
loss of that monopoly of the market of the world which we 
have enjoyed for the last eighty years, and of which the 
growing skill and industry of other nations must, sooner or 
later, have deprived us. The crisis may have been accele* 
rated by bad management, and may be softened, or warded 
off, for a short time, (long enough, though, I hope for you 
and me,) by good. But I do not see that it can be pre- 



vented, and am persuaded that within twenty years, 
and probably mach sooner, we are doomed to a greater 
revolution than is yet* recorded in our history. Do satisfy 
me, if you can, that these are the dreams of a poor pro- 
vincial invalid, and, at all events, persuade yourself that 
they are, if it would give you any serious uneasiness to 
think otherwise, &c. — God bless you, and ever very faith- 
fuDy yours. 

168.-70 Oharlef DickenSj E%q. 

Craigcrook, 16th October, 1842. 

My dear Dickens — A thousand thanks to you for your 
charming book \* and for all the pleasure, profit, and relief 
it has Afforded me. You have been very tender to our 
sensitive friends beyond sea, and really said nothing which 
should give any serious offence to any moderately rational 
patriot among them. The Slavers^ of course, will give you 
no quarter, and I suppose you did not expect they should. 
But I do not think you could have said less, and my whole 
heart goes along with every word you have written. Some 
people will be angry too, that you have been so strict to 
observe their spitting^ and neglect of ablutions, &c. And 
more, that you should have spoken with so little reverence 
of their courts of law and state legislature, and even of 
their grand Congress itself. But all this latter part is done 
in such a spirit of good-humoured playfulness, and so mixed 
up with clear intimations that you have quite as little vene- 
ration for things of the same sort at homey that it will not 
be easy to represent it as the fruit of Engliih insolence 
and envy. 

As to the rest, I think you have perfectly accomplished 
all that you profess or undertake to do ; and that the world 
has never yet seen a more faithful, graphic, amusing, kind- 

* On America. 


hearted narrative than you have now bestowed on it. 
Always graceful and lively, and sparkling and indulgent, 
and yet relieved, or rather (in the French sense of the 
word) exalted by so many suggestions of deep thought, and 
so many touches of tender and generous sympathy, (caught 
at once, and recognised like the signs of free masonry, by 
all whose hearts have been instructed in these mysteries,) 
that it must be our own faults if we are not as much im- 
proved as delighted by the perusal. .'Your account of the 
silent or solitary imprisonment system is as pathetic and 
powerful a piece of writing as I have ever seen ; and your 
sweet, airy little snatch of the happy little woman, taking 
her new babe home to her young husband, and your manly 
and feeling appeal in behalf of the pooi^ Irish, (or rather 
of the affectionate poor of all races and tongues,) who are 
patient and tender to their children, under circumstances 
which would make half the exemplary parents among the 
rich monsters of selfishness and discontent, remind us that 
we have still among us the creator of Nelly, and Smike, 
and the schoolmaster, and his dying pupil, &;c. ; and must 
continue to win for you still more of that homage of the 
heart, that love and esteem of the just and the good, which, 
though it should never be disjoined from them, I think you 
must already feel to be better than fortune or fame. 

Well, I have no doubt your 3000 copies will be sold in 
a week, and I hope you will tell me that they have put 
£1000 at least into your pocket. Many people will say 
that the work is a slight one, and say it perhaps truly. 
But every body will read it ; and read it with pleasure to 
themselves, and growing regard for the author. More — 
and perhaps with better reason, for I am myself in the num- 
ber — will think there is rather too much of Laura Bridg- 
man and penitentiaries, &c., in general. But that, I be- 
lieve, is chiefly because we grudge being so long parted 
from the personal presence of our entertainer as we are 


bj these interladee, and therefore we hope to be forgiren 
by him. 

And 80 God blefls yoa! and prosper yoa in all your 
nndertakmgs, and with best loYe and heartiest congratnla* 
ticHiS to my dear Mrs. Dickens (for here is an Ezche<{aer 
process come in for me to dispose of). — ^Belieye me always 
yery affectionately yours. 

Having got my head ont of Exchequer sooiwr than I 
expected, I will not let this go without telling you that I 
continue tolerably well, though not without aj^rebension 
of the depressing effects of the coming winter, and great 
reliance, therefore, on the cordial you haye almost promised 
to administer before its deepest gloom is oyer. I do not 
wish to let you forget this promise, — bat can never wish^ 
as you must know, that you should keep it with any in- 
convenience to yourself. I have strong hopes of Uvutg to 
see you in London in spring. 

We had letters the other day from Kew York, where 
your memory, and the love of you, is still as fresh as ever. 
Good bye ! 

169.— To John Btchard$of9i Hiq. 

Hclinbiirgli, Wednesday Byeniiig, 
SOth Norember, 1842. 

My dear Richardson— -A great sorrow has fallen upon 
you,"*" and you must bear it ! and what more is there to 
say ? I need not tell you that we mourn over you, and 
over the extinction of that young life, and the sudden 
vanishing of those opening prospects and innocent hopes 
that shed a cheering influence -on our old hearts, and 
seemed yet to coxinect us, in sympathy and affection, with 
a futurity which we were not ourselves very likely to see. 
And all this is over, and she is gone ! and we are left to 

* By the death of hi» daughter^ Mm. Beeve. 


wonder and repine, and yet to cling to what is left us of 
existence, and to feel that there are duties and affections 
that yet remain to us, and interests and sources of enjoy- 
ment too, that will spring up anew when this blight and 
darkening have passed over. God help us I We must be 
as we are, and we must suffer and wait for healing, and do 
what we can to anticipate the time of our restoration, and 
force ourselves therefore to dwell most on those considera- 
tions, which, though belonging to impressions which must 
still engross us, are likely to give them some character of 
soothing and comfort. All her past life was happy, and 
blameless, and amiable. It must always be gratefd (and 
a cause of gratitude) to think of this. Then you did your 
duty, gently and faithfully, to her, and much of her en- 
joyment was owing to your kindness and watchful love. 
Thare must be unspeakable and unfailing comfort in that 
reflection. But you know all this, and I am persuaded 
you feel it, and I only twaddio in speaking thus t^o you. 
Yet my heart is full of the subject, and I cannot help say- 
ing something. Charlotte has been more moved than I 
have seen her sinoe the death of her father; and indeed 
the grief and sympathy which this sad event has called 
forth has been deeper and more universal than I almost 
ever remember. 

I hope Helen* has not suffered in her health, and that 
you are all now reasonably tranquil. You have fortu- 
nately dear and affectionate children still around you, and 
you must, and will comfort each other. 

God bless and support you, my dear and kind-hearted 
old friend. — Ever, affectionately yours. 

* Mr. Bichar^son's second daughter. 

298 LIFE or LOBD JBirrRfiY. 

170.-2% John Ramsey M'Oulloehy Esq. 

Edinburgh, 12t]i December, 1842. 

My dear M'OuUoch — I received your obliging letter of 
the 9 th yesterday, and thank you for it. I have also read 
carefully the little pamphlet you enclose, with the whole 
drift and tenor of which I entirely agree, and think it in- 
deed very admirably thought and expressed. I cannot 
say, however, that I go so thoroughly along with all the 
views in your letter, and wish I could feel the same assur- 
ance you seem to do, as to our being in no danger from 
foreign competition, assisted and aggravated in its effects 
(as we may surely reckon that it will be) by national jea- 
lousies and erroneous notions of self-interest. Indeed, if 
it were not for this competition, I do not clearly see how 
the increase of our manufacturing population should be a 
subject of regret or alarm, or on what grounds any serious 
or permanent distress need be apprehended, among these 
classes in particular. I quite sympathise with you, how- 
ever, in your wish that we could be allowed to see more 
than we are likely to do, of the actual working of the causes 
that are now in operation, and the movements that are visi- 
bly begun.* I am more modest, however, in my prayer for 
the gift of prescience than you are, and should be satisfied 
to have a clear vision of the condition of this country some 
time about the year 1900, before which, I feel persuaded, 
the problems we are puzzled about will all be substantially 
resolved. Indeed (if it were the same thing to the power 
who can alone grant such prayers,) I should prefer being 
allowed to live and see the results^ in their actual accom- 
plishment, rather than wonder at them in a prophetic 
dream. But I should be glad to have either of the boons ! 

* Mr. M'Callooh had expressed a wish that he could come back in 
about three hundred years, to see the result of the poUtioal and eco- 
nomical principles now in action. 


I continue pretty well» I thank you, and certainly feel 
much relieved by the later hours which my Inner House* 
duties allow me to indulge in. I also get on very com- 
fortably with my new associates ; and not having been one 
day out of court since May, expect to get through this 
long session without knuch annoyance, and to see you in 
town in April, in nearly as good condition as in former 
years, &c. — ^Ever, very faithfully yours. 

171. — To Lord Coehbum. 

Hayleybnry, 26th March, 1848. 

My dear 0. — A thousand thanks for your nice letter 
which I found on my return yesterday from a two days' 
lark to London ; in the course of which I saw, in forty- 
eight short hours, ten times as many male friends (and 
missed as many female, for the most part my old friends, 
however,) as I see in Edinburgh in a year. Empson 
and I ran up on Thursday, and I contrived before din- 
ner to see poor Richardson in his den ; rather low, at iBrst, 
but busy, as usual, and very kind, and affectionately 
anxious for all his friends. Helen has been pining, and 
he means to send her, under the escort of Beeve, for a 
fortnight or so to Paris. I, likewise, left my card for 
Bright and the Berrys, and then went to dine, you will 
allow very thankfully, at my doctor's (Holland), where we 
had a grand party — Lady Holland and Allen, Hallam and 
Rogers, and the Gunliffes, Crews, and other dignitaries, 
and much pleasant talk. A great assembly in the eve- 
ning — the Sidney Smiths — my Lords Campbell, Mont- 
eagle, and Mahon, with their spouses, Ladies Morley, 
Dunstanville, Charlemont, &c., with lots of other people, 
by whom I was caressed and complimented on my youth 
and beavty^ in a style of which you frozen Muscovites of 

* The Court he had now remoTed to. 

800 {.m OF LO&P JBIFBET. 

the north hare no coneeption. Next morning, we had a 
charmiBg breakfast with Rogers, with only Lord John 
Ruflsell and Tonuny Moore, both most gentle, sociable, 
and pleasant ; and we all sat till near one, when I called 
on my friends the Oayleys — then on Lady T. Lister — then 
to the Carlisles, whom I did not find — then to Lady Hol- 
land's, and to Macanlay's and Lord Melbourne's. Dined 
at the Monteagles' with the Aubrey de Veres, my excel- 
lent friend Stephens, Milman, John Milnes, and the Bishop 
of Norwich, whom I carried down in a cab to the Berrys 
— ^had much talk with Lady Morley and Dillon, and Mrs^ 

Dawson Darner, till burst in, in a state of frenzy 

of high spirits, and roared and rattled in a way that was 
almost frightfuli till he drove Macaulay and other quiet 
people away. ••••»•• 
If I had stayed, I should hare dined at Lady Holland's 
to meet the Lansdownes and Morpeths, &c. i but I had a 
warning of trachea, and resolved to fly from it and regain 
my shades. And so, after breakfasting ,with Macaulay, 
and making him read a bit of his history, I went up to 
Lockhart's to see Lady Gifford, and called in yaiii on 
Dickens, and we eet off about three o'clock and got here 
quietly to dinner, and shall stay here for at least a week 
to come. 

112.— To Ohprle9 Diekensy Mq. 

Edinburgh, 26tli Pecember, 1S48. 
Blessings on your kind heart, my dear Dickens! and 
may it always be as light and full as it is kind, and a 
fpuntain of kindness to all within reach of its beatings ! 
We are all charmed with your Carol ;, chiefly, I think, for 
the genuine goodness which breathes all through it, and is 
the true inspiring angel by which its genius has been 
awakened. The whole scene of the Gratchetts is like the 
dream of a beneficent angel in spite of its broad reality ; 


and little Tiai^ Tim^ in life, and deatli almoBt as sweet and 
as touohmg as Nellj* And then the school-day so^ne, 
intli that large-hearted, delicate sister, and her true inhe- 
ritor, with his gall-lacking liyer, alid milk of humui- 
kindness for blood, and yet all so natural and so hmnbly 
and serenely happy ! Weill, you should be happy your^ 
self, for you may be sure you have done more good, and 
not only fastened n&ore kindly feelings, but prompted more 
positive acts of beneficence, by this little publication,. than 
can be traced to all the pulpits and confessionals in Chris- 
tendom, since Christmas 1842. 

And is not this better than caricaturing American 
knaveries, or lavishing your great gifts of fancy and ob- 
servation on Pecksniffs, Dodgers, Bailleys, and Moulds. 
Nor is this a mere crotchet of mine, for nine-tenths of 
your readers^ I am convinced, are of the same opinion ; 
and, accordingly, I prophesy that you will sell three times 
as many of this moral and pathetic Carol as of your gro* 
tesque and fantastical Chuzzlewits. 

I hope you have not fancied that I think less frequently 
of you, or love you less, because I have not lately written to 
you. Indeed, it is not m ; but J have been poorly in health 
for the last five months, and advancing age makes me lazy 
and, perhaps, forgetful. But I do not forget my benefac- 
tors, and I owe too much to you not to have you con- 
stantly in my thoughts. I scarcely know a single indi- 
vidual to whom I am indebted for so much pleasure, and 
the means, at least, of being made better. I wish you 
had -net made such an onslaught on the Americans. Even 
if it were all merited, it does mischief, and no good. Be- 
sides, you know that there are many exceptions ; and, if 
ten righteous might have saved a city once, there are 
surely innocent and amiable men and women, and besides 
boys and girls, enough in that vast region to arrest the 
proscription of a nation. I cannot but hope, therefore, 
that you will relent, before you have done with them, and 
" Vol. n.'»-2d 


contrast your deep shadings with some redeeming touches. 
God bless yon. I must not say more to-day. — With most 
kind lore to Mrs. Dickens, always very affectionately 
yours, &c. ♦ 

Since writing this in the morning, and jnst as I wite 
going to seal it, in comes another copy of the Carol, with 
a iSattering autograph on the blank page, and an address 
in your own << fine Roman hand/' I thank you with all 
my heart for this proof of your remembrance, and am 
pleased to think that, while I was so occupied about you, 
you had not been forgetful of me. Heaven bless you, 
and all that are dear to you. — Ever yours, &;c. 

178.-70 OharUt J>ickenSy E%q. 

Edinbnrgli, let February, 1844. 

My dear Dickens— In the 8econd place, thanks for your 
kind letter. But, imprimisy still warmer thanks for your 
two charming chapters of Tom Pinch, which are in the old 
and true vein, which no man but yourself either knows 
where to look for, or how to work, after it has been laid 
open to all the world, &c. 

It is not that at all I wish to say to you. No, no ; it is 
about that most flattering wish, or, more probably, passing 
fancy, of that dear Kate'*' of yours, to associate my name 
with yours over the baptismal font of your new-come boy. 
My first impression was, that it was a mere piece of kind 
badinage of hers (or perhaps your own,) and not meant to 
be seriously taken, and consequently that it would be fool- 
ish to take any notice of it. But it has since occurred to 
me, that, if you had really meditated so great an honour 
for me, you would naturally think it strange, if I did not 
in some way acknowledge it, and express the deep sense I 
should certainly have of such an act of kindness. And so 

* Mrs. Diokens. 


I write noWy to say, in all fulness and simplicity of heart, 
that, if such a thing is indeed in your contemplation, it 
would be more flattering and agreeable to me than most 
things that have befallen me in this mortal pilgrimage ; 
while, if it was but the sportful expression of a happy and 
confiding playfulness, I shall still feel grateful for the com- 
munication, and return you a smile as cordial as your own, 
and with full permission to both of you to smile at the 
simplicity which could not distinguish jdst from earnest. 
And such being the object of the missive, I shall not 
plague you with any smaller matters for the present ; only 
I shall not be satisfied, if the profits of the Carol do not 
ultimately come up to my estimate, &;c. 

I want amazingly to see you rich, and independent of 
all irksome exertions; and really, if you go on having 
more boys^ (and naming them after poor Scotch plebeians,) 
you must make good bargains and lucky hits, and, above 
all, accommodate yourself oftener to that deeper and higher 
tone of human feeling, which, you now see experimentally y 
is more surely and steadily popular than any display of 
fancy, or magical power of observation and description 
combined. And so God be with you, 4;o. — ^Always very 
affectionately yours. 

174. — To Mre. Empson. 

Tuesday, 27th February, 1844. 

Seven o'clock. — ^No afternoon letters yet, though we have 
had neither snow nor blow since last night. However, we 
have had your Saturday's despatch this morning, and are 
thankful. It brightened, and grew very cold last night, 
and I went to sleep under five blankets ! with thermometer 
at twenty-one, and a fierce twinkling moon very far to the 
north. But it relented before morning, and this day has 
been sweet and vernal — a soft south wind and a cheerful 
sun ; and, except that the melting snow made things sloppy. 


erery thing yery amiable. Thermometer at forty-one* 
We drove down to the pier,* and resomed oar t^rraqueoae 
. I»romenade after a fire days* interruption* Veiry gay and 
grand also, the bright waves leaping and clapping their 
hands beneath us, and the ^ores rising sunny and SipecUy, 
with tracts of bright snow and black woodland, on the 
Hear slopes, and the remoter mountains shining like sum- 
mer clouds in their untainted whiteness, &o« 

We had two cases acyusted to-day, and yet out early, 
so that I had near an hour at the Exhibition,! and saw 
many things to admire. The two pictures that interested 
me most were both very Scottish, and I think would touch 
your simple Scotch heart, as they did mine. One is a shep- 
herd's funeral ;% the coffin journeying, in a still, dullish 
autumn day, in a slight made cart, across a true Scottish 
upland, with an ancient feeble driver, and the stiff pensive 
colly f stepping languidly by his side, a worn out rough old 
pony in the harness, and a long train of plaided mourners, 
of all ages, wending soberly behind. It is really very 
well painted, and has been sold for ^250. The other is 
still more pathetic to my feelings. It is the departure of 
a company of Highland emigrants for foreign shores — a 
beautiful, though bare and rugged Highland landscape, 
with a soft summer sea sleeping among the rocks, and 
under the light haze of the dawning. The large emigrant 
ship looms dim and dark in the soft mist, and a large barge 
is rowing towards it, in which plaided and snooded figures 
are crowded^ waving bonnets and hands; while on the 
beach is the broken-down and deserted grandfather, stoop- 
ing with his bald temples and clasped hands, in an attitude 
of speechless sorrow, while the anqient dan^e sits crouch- 
ing before him, with her plaid drawn close round her head, 


t The Annual Exhibition of the Boyal Scottish Acftdemj of Paintincp, 

X By Mr. George Hnrey, Edinburgh. 


unable to bear the aiglit of that parting ; and a beantiftd 
joang sheep-dog is ho.wling, with his nose in the. air, at 
the furthest point of the promontory. I have seldom seen 
a picture I should like more to have, though I could not 
look at it without tears.* No post yet, &c.— Erer yours. 

175.-^0 M-s. A. Butherfurd. 

E. I. College, Thursday, 9th May, 1844. 

I am a great deal better, and really an^ry at myself for 
having been so ill as to give you so much uneasiness. For 
ten days, to be sure, I was ill enough, and after near a 
fortnight in bed 6annot be supposed to be very strong yet. 
But the fever J think is gone, and the cough I hope going, 
and I now actually contemplate being able to embark in 
the train of Wednesday next for Lancaster, which will 
bring me to Edinburgh with all my little ones on Saturday, 
just time enough to be ready for our meeting on Tues- 
day, &c. 

These warnings come thick, you see, my Sophy, and if 
the next should usher iu the actual striking of the hour^ it 
cannot be said to have come without notice. But I am 
very calm and tranquil with all this consciousness ; and 
never was more cheerful, and indeed inwardly happy, than 
I have been through all this last visitation. 

I should have written to yoii as soon as I was able to 
write, had I not been quite in the dark as to your where- 
abouts. As it was, I wrote to Cockburn on the first distinct 
mending, and I hope he will have communicated with you 
before this can reach you. 

• I hope you are yourself quite well and enjoying this 
beautiful weather — all the mornings at least at Lauriston. 
Here it has been rather too hot. Ther. in the shade at 
this moment 76, and the nightingales thundering as loud 

* It WM hy Mr. J. C. Br«iDi« SS^unhurgh. 

26* • U 


as the cuckoo. God bless yoa alvajs, my very dear 
Sophia* — ^Ever affectionately yours. 

176.-^0 Mr9. Fletcher. 

(The widow of the late Archd. Fletcher, Esq., Adyocate.) 

Berwick, Friday Night, 14th , 1844. 

My dear Mrs. Fletcher — ^Tou will see from this date 
that ve cannot avail ourselves this time of your most kind 
offer of a meeting at Kendal, &;c. 

I was sure you would like Empson's Memorial of Arnold. 
There was so much of true heart in it, that it could not 
but go to all true hearts. I do not think he ever loved or . 
venerated a living creature so deeply as he does his me- 
mory; and I believe he has not yet done with him, as you 
may probably see in the next number of the Edinburgh. 

Alas, for poor Sidney! and poor Bobus* has gone 
swiftly after him! What havoc death has been making 
among the seniors since last Christmas ! I hope he will 
now hold his hand a little, or, at all events, allow you and 
me to look upon one another once more through the eyes 
of the flesh, however dim some of them may be waxing. 
There is no sight, I am sure, that would rejoice mine so 
much. For of all that are left me from the old days of 
our youth, there is no one whom I love so tenderly, trust 
so entirely, or respect so uniformly, as you ; and if you do 
not know it, why you scarcely deserve to have it said or 
thought of you. 

My friends have been very kind to me in coming to my 
simple haphazard little assemblies. To me they were un- 
doubtedly very pleasant, and partly, I daresay, to that 
sort of revival of old usages to which you refer ; and I 
think they could not have been unpleasant to those who 
came back to them so frequently and freely, &c. — ^Ever, 
my dear Mrs. Fletcher, very affectionately yours. 

* Mr. Sidney Smith's brother. 

!rO MRS, BMPSOir. 307 

177. — 2b Mt%. JEmpson. 

July, 1844. . 

Well, — and I had our, walk all over the fields,, and 

gathered a good basket of mushrooms. Oar talk* to-daj 
was of the difference between plants and animals, and 
of the ^If-life and volition that were indicated by the 
former ; and of the goodness of God, in making flowers so 
beautiful to the eye, and us capable of receiving pleasure 
from their beauty, which the other animals are not ; and 
then a picture by me of the first trial flights and adven- 
tures of a brood of young birds, when first encouraged by 
their mother to trust themselves to the air— which excited 
great interest, especially the dialogue parts between the 
mother and the young. She has got a tame jackdaw, whose 
voracity in gobbling slips of raw meat, cut into the sem- 
blance of worms, she very much admires, as well as his 
pale blue eyes. She was pleased to tell me yesterday, 
with furious bursts of laughter, that I was <<an old man," 
« very old ;" and was with difiiculty persuaded to admit 
that Flushf (the true original old man) Was a good deal 

I hope I am better; though I am very glad to think, 
that in three weeks more I shall be free from the courts. 
I am as much as possible in the open air, and still have 
my evening walks, even when it is chilly. 

I have got Arnold's Life, &c. ; but have scarcely had 
time to read any of it yet, the courts taking a good deal of 
time, and my out-door lounges no little. But I shall begin 
it seriously to-night. I could not stop reading that admi- 
rable review of Stephens on the Clapham Worthies, which 
is all charmingly written, and many passages inimitably. 

^ With his gr»ndohild Charlotte. f An old dog. 


The sketches of Ghranville Sharpe, C. Simeon, and Lord 
Teignmoathy are, beyond comparison, superior to any of 

's elaborate portraits, or even any of Macaulay'a 

stronger pictures, in viracity and force of colouring, as 
well as in that soft tone of angelic pity and indulgence, 
which gives its chai'acter to the whole piece. The eulogies 
of H. Thornton and H. Martyn are rather overdone, I 
think; but Zac. Macaulay is excellent, and so are the 
slighter sketches of Will. Smith and the paternal Stephens. 
I hope they will give you as much pleasure as they have 
given me. They are so much in accordance, indeed, with 
all I love and admire in human writings, that I feel as if 
they had been intended for my especial gratification. I 
have also read a volume of the Mysteries of Paris, and 
been much touched and delighted with the gentle and in- 
nocent pictures, but tempted to pass over much of the 
horrors. It is a book of genius undoubtedly; but how 
utterly regardless is that class of writers of not the pro- 
bable only, but the possible! and how much does the 
superiority of Sir Walter appear in his producing equal 
effects, without such sacrifices. Heaven bless you. — ^Ever 
most affectionately yours. 

178.— fo Mr. Dickens. 

Edinburgh, I2th December, 1844. 
Blessings on your kind heart, my dearest Dickens, for 
thatf after all, is your great talisman, and the gift for* 
which you will be not only most loved, but longest remem- 
bered. Tour kind and courageous advocacy of the rights 
of the poor — ^your generous assertion, and touching dis- 
plays, of their virtues, and the delicacy as well as the 
warmth of their affections, have done more to soothe de- 
sponding worth — to waken sleeping (almost dead) humani- 
ties — and to shame even selfish brutality, than all the other 


writings of the age, and make it, and all that are to ooI^e 
after, your debtors. 

WeU, you understand from this (though it was all true 
before) that the music of your chimes had reached me, and 
resounded through my heart, and that I thank you with 
^1 that is left of it. 

I think I.need not say that I have been charmed with 
them, or even after what fashion, or by what notes prin- 
cipally. Tou know me well enough to make that out 
without prompting. But I could not reserve my tears for 
your third part. From the meeting with Will on the street, 
they flowed and ebbed at your bidding; and I know you 
will forgive me for saying that my interest in the story 
began there. Tour opening chorus of the church-going 
wind is full of poetry and painting, and the meeting of 
Trotty .and Meg very sweet and graceful. But I do not 
care about your Alderman and his twaddling friends, and 
think their long prosing in the street dull and unnatural. 
But after Will and Lillian come on the scene, it is all de- 
licious, every bit of it — the vision as well as the reality; 
and the stern and. terrible pictures of (the visionary) Will 
and the child, as well as the angel sweetness of Meg, and 
the expiating agony of poor Lillian. The delieacy with 
which her story is left mostly in shadow, and the thrilling 
pathos of both her dialogues with Meg, are beyond the 
reach of any pen but your own, and it never did any thing 
better. And yet I have felt the pathos of those parts, 
and indeed throughout, almost painfully oppressive. Sa- 
native, I dare say, to the spirit, but making us despise and 
loathe ourselves for passing our days in luxury, while better 
and gentler creatures are living such lives as make us 
wonder that such things can be in a society of human 
beings, or even in the world of a good God. 
. Your Bell spirits, and all the secrets of their race, is a 
fine German extravaganza, and shows that if you did not 
prefer << stooping to truth, and moralizing your song," you 


could easily beat all the Teutonic mystices and ghost seers 
to sticks at their own weapons. It is a better contrived, 
and far more richly adorned, machinery than the Christmas 
incarnations that exercised the demon of , though, 

by the way, there is Tess poetical justice in frightening 
poor innocent Trotty with such a tissue of horrors as might 
be requisite to Boften the stony heart of the miser. 

I run no risk in predicting that you will have a great 
run, and may start with 10,000 copies. Yet there will 
be more objections this time than the last. The aldermen, 
and justices, friends, and fathers, &c., and in short all the 
tribe of selfishness, and cowardice, and cant, will hate you 
in their hearts, and cavil when they can; will accuse you 
of wicked exaggeration, and excitement to discontent, and 
what they pleasantly call disaffection ! But never mind — 
the good and the brave are with you, and the truth also, 
and in that sign you will conquer. 

I started when I found you dating from London, and 
can scarcely believe that you have really been there and 
back again ! But I do hope you are back safely, and have 
not been snuffed out, and pulled from under the snow, by 
the St. Bernard retrievers. Do not cross those ridges 
again though, in mid-winter. I am charmed with your 
accounts of my boy, and hope his sweet mother loves him 
as much as you do. I hope too that she likes Italy, and 
yet does not forget Britain. I can excuse her preferring 
her present abode for the winter. But when our own mild, 
moist, ever-green summer comes, you must all return to 
us. I am in better hope of living till then than I was 
when I came here in October. Neither the winter nor the 
work have done me any harm, but good rather; and, 
though a poor enough creature still, I am better than I 
was, and live a very tranquil and rather happy sort of 
life. And so God bless you, and your true-hearted Ca- 
therine, and my boy, and all of you !— Ever affectionately 


179.-^0 Lord Cochbum. 

Bast Indian Cottage, Hertford, 
26th March, 1846. 

My dear C. — I thitik I should like to hear from you; 
and 80 I make it a duty, by thus writing to you* Tou 
have heard, of course, of our safe arrival, after the pains 
and perils of our wintry journey. I have Uttle to tell you 
of the quiet, innocent patriarchal life, we have been since 
Uving, in peace, love, and humility, and utterljr undis- 
turbed by the vices and vanities, the luxuries and ambi- 
tions,, that prey upon you men of the world. The col- 
lege, too, is luckily in vacation, which helps the deep 
tranquillity of our contemplative existence. And so I 
have been reading the Leviathfin and the Odyssey, and 
tlie works of Sir H. Vane, and Milton, political prose, 
and trddgingvabout on the upland commons, which are all 
sprinkled with lambs, and under a sky all alive with larks, 
and meditating at eve, and holding large discourse with 
Empson,. upon things past and future, and present and 
possible; eating little, and drinking less, and sleeping 
least of all ; but possessing my heart in patience, and en- 
vying the robustious as little as I can. We are to have 
my eloquent dreamy friend Stephens for some days after 
Saturday, and perhaps Hallam ; and in the mean time I 
have occasional colloquies with Jones on political economy, 
and the prospects of the world when machinery has super- 
seded aU labour but that of engine-makers, and when 
there is an end of established churches. We have got 
spring at last, though e^i&ij thing is very backward, and 
I never saw these meadows so little green, or these woods 
so utterly dead. How are you at Bonaly? 
- Has anybody thought of taking up my Tuesday and 
Friday evenings ? which, upon looking back to them, seem 
to me like a faint, but not quite unsuccessful, revival of a 

812 LXn OF LORB JSFFiffiY. 

style of society which was thought to have some attraction 
in the hands of Dugald Stewart and some others ; though, 
I fear, we have now fallen in an age too late for such a 
reviyaJ, and that nothing but an amiable consideration for 
my infirmities could have given it the success it had. We 
hare had bad accounts of poor Macrey Napier,"^ and 
should like to hear from some authentic quarter how he 
really is. The Butherfurds, I understand, will soon be in 
these latitudes. When do you go on your circuit 7 and 
how does Jane and your Australian wanderer coma, on ? 
Frank, I am happy to find, has fully maintained his cha- 
racter for steadiness and heroic adherence to duty. Now, 
let me have a good large sheet, full of gossip, and queories, 
and admonitions. 

180.— To Mrs. Sidney Smith. \ 

GrdgeroDk, 14ih Jvne, 1846. 

My dear Mrs. Smith — ^I do not systematically destroy 
my letters, but I take no care of them, and very few I 
fear have been preserved, or remain accessible. I shall 
make a search, however, and send you all I can recover, 

I was very glad to hear, some little time ago, that 
Moore had agreed to assist in preparing the Memorialf 
about which you are naturally so much interested. He 
will do i4, 1 am sure, in a right spirit, and with the feel-' 
ing that we are all anxious to see brought to its execution. 
Then, he writes gracrfully, and is so great a- favourite 
with the public, that the addition of his name cannot fail 
to be a great recommendation. 

If it occurs to me, on reflection, that if there is sny thing 
I can contribute, in the way you suggest, I shall be most 
happy to have my name associated with iiis on such an 

* HU 61160088 in editiiig tiio Beriew. . f Of her hnsbfuuL 

10 snt CTOBfiB mscLAiJB,. 818 

Ton know it must always be a pleasure to me to com'^ 
jij with any request of yours ; and the form in which you 
ask this to be done is certainly that whidi I should prefer 
to any other ; yet the models to which you refer might 
well deter me from attempting any thing that might lead 
to a comparison. , . - 

I am glad^ to think of you at Munden rather than in 
Green Street in this charming weather, and beg to be 
most kindly reiinembered there to my beloved Emily, and 
att her belongings, &c. — ^Ever very sJTectionately yours. 

181.— -To Sir George Sinclair. 

Crsigerook, BlsokhaU, 
. Saturday, Ist August, 1846. 

My dear Sir George — Indeed, indeed, you have mis- 
takeU) or done me wrong. ' I am not at all changed to 
you, and have the same belief in your kind heart, large 
philanthropy, and unutterable sweetness of temper, as I 
ever had; and the same sense, too, of your invariable 
kindness to me^ BxnJL our ways of life have lately been 
more apart, and for some years back my health has been 
so much broken, that I have rarely been able for more 
than the indispensable duties of my place, and had there- 
fore, I doubt not, to neglect many odier duties, which are 
at least as important* 

I have no distinct recollection of your ever having 
called on me, without an attempt at least, on my part to 
see you^ and I am sure, never without a. wish for our 

On the occasion you mention, I think I must have been 
indisposed, though I do remember having gone once at 
least, if not oftener, to look for you, and being mortified 
on finding that you had already left the town. 

But you are surely a little unchiuritable in construing a 
circumstance like this, even if there were no explanation 

Vol. IL-87 


of it, into proof of such a change of sentiment on mj part 
as would implj, not only a contemptible levity of charao- 
ter, but (I must say, because I feel it,) a very hateful 
ebldness and ingratitude of nature. But we need not go 
back upon these things. I feel that you will believe me 
when I say that you have been mistaken — ^that I have 
never ceased to regard you with the same affection which 
arose in my mind, from your first remarkable introduction 
to me by the old Duchess of Gordon — and which was rivet* 
ed and confirmed by all the intercourse we had while we 
sat in Parliament together — that I was touched, even to 
weeping, by the extreme tenderness of some expressions in 
your letter to my wife — ^and that she, knowing well how I 
have always felt and spoken of you, though not so much 
hurt as I was by your complaint of altered feelings, really 
was not less Burprised at it. 

But I must have done with this. We are friends again, 
now at least, and must have no more misunderstandings. 

I heard of your domestic afflictions, and felt for you I 
think as I ought. But while I hear also of the good you 
continue to do in your neighbourhood, and the popularity 
you enjoy, I cannot allow myself to think that your exists 
ence is without its consolations and even its enjoyments, 
and these not of the lowest order. Neither can I entirely 
approve of your sequestering yourself for ever in that re- 
mote comer. A man with so many friends has a wider 
sphere, both of duty and beneficence ; and I am persuaded 
that you will soon feel this, and act upon it. 

For my own part, my health, I am happy to say, is now 
about as good as it generally is. I am liable to frequent 
little attacks, which, at my age, are alarming, but not often 
attended with much suffering, and which I have learned to 
bear with, I hope, very tolerable patience. I manage, I 
think, to extract a fair enough share of comfort, and even 
of enjoyment, from a very reduced allowance of vitality. 
If you ever feel that you want a lessonin this art, I shall 


be too happy to give you the benefit of my precept and 

I am here now with my daughter and her husband and 
their four children, and flatter myself that we make a very 
pretty patriarchal household, and with as much affectioa 
and as little enn/ui among lis, as in any patriarchal esta- 
blishment since the deluge, or before it. I wish you would 
come and s^e. You would like Empson, I am sure, the 
gentleness of whose disposition and the kindness of his 
heart often remind me of you. I can scarcely offer you a. 
bed while they are with me ; but you could board here, and 
easily haVe a lodging in the neighbourhood. 

And so God bless you, my dear Sir George ; and for the 
•rest of our lives believe me, with all good wishes, very 
affectionisitely yours. 

182.— To Mrs, H. Cayley. 

Graigorook, BlaokliaU, Edinburgh, 
Thtirsday, 6th August, 1846. 

My dear Emma — It is unaccountable to myself why I 
have not answered your letter long ago. Can you explain 
this to me ? I was thankful enough for it> I am sure, and, 
indeed, both touched and flattered ^by it, more than I shall 
now try to tell you, and I did mean to write immediately, 
only one grows old, and good for nothing, I fear"! and so 
you must even be contented to love me a little as I am, and 
to know that I love you, and shall always, as long as there 
is any life left in the heart of this poor carcass. 

I cannot tell you whether anybody finds my old age 
beautiful, but I am sure it is not unhappy; and I really do 
not think it ought, for I have as ready a sympathy as ever 
for the happiness of others, and as great a capacity for 
loving, and as great. a desire to be loved. And though my 
health is a good deal broken, and my animal vitality rather 
low, I rather think that both my intellectual and socijil 




alacrity are as great as when we were first acquainted. I 
read mox:e, I believe, than I ever did, (though I fancy I 
ferget more of what I read,) and talk (I am afraid) nearly 
as much } and though I have given up dining out, or going 
much into general society, a great many people are kind 
enough to come to me ; and my days are at least as cheer* 
fill as when more of my hours were spent in company. I 
have now my four grandchildren and th^ir parents, all un- 
der my roof again, and I think we live a very exemplary, 
and not unenviable patriarchal life together, with as mucli 
affection, and as little ennui dmong us as could be found in 
any patriarchal establishment siiice the deluge, or4)efore it* 
I tell you all this, partly because you ask me to tell you 
all about myself, but chiefly because I believe you to have 
a very genuine relish for the patriarchal life yourself^ and 
will not dislike to hear that you cannot look for the full 
enjoyment of all its innocent pleasures till you are old 
enough to share them with the second generation of your 
descendants. In the mean time, however, it is very pleas- 
ing to me to know that you hav^ so much satisfaction in 
the first ; and I pray and trust that this may go on in- 
creasing, till, in the fulness of time, the second shall come 
still further to increase it. I am very much obliged to 
Edward for the kind lift his partiality led him to lend me 
in the estimation of his son, though my conscience certainly 
does whisper me that the judgment of the junior is, in this 
matter, the most correct. I z'q'oice, too, to find that you 
still retain unimpaired that delight in the beautiful aspects 
of external nature, which I really believe forms a very 
large part of the enjoyment of good people, and which, 
when once confirmed, not only does not decay, like most 
other emotions which come through the senses, but seems 
rather to grow more lively with the decay of every thing 
else. I hope, too^ that E. has got quite over the shock 
which the sudden loss of his father must have occasioned. 
Will this event lead you to leave Wydale ? or materially 


«rffeot your worldly po^ititm? Wbft you write agaio^ 
(which I hope you will do soon,) tell me about Siar George 
Mid «ll the rest. You k&ow I take a brother's interest in 
the whole genealogy, and also about Mary Agnes, of whom 
I had ft glimpse in April, and was half provoked to see 
how importantly happy she looked in her married state. 

And so God bless yon, my very dear Emma, and with 
all good wishes, believe me, ever very aflfectionately yours. 

183.--^ ^0 the Him. the Lady John BtiBsen. 

fldlBburgli, 2lBt December, 1846. 

My deair Lady John — I feel quite obliged to Mr. Fraser 
for bringing me to your recollection; and must, therefiMre, 
gite you as farourable an account of him as possible, &c. . 

I rejoice with you in the thaw; though I cannot say 
that I suffered (except a little in mere sensation) from the 
frost, and have been able to go through my court work 
and my little evening receptions quite as well as last year« 
It is very good in you to remember my sentiments to you 
in the hotel. I never pass by its windows, in these winter 
twilights, without thinking of you, and of the lessons of 
cheerful magnanimity (as wel] as of other t^ngs) I used 
to learn by your couch ; though I am delighted to learn 
that you are no longer in the way of improving the world 
by the special example of these virtues. 

The Murrays and Rutherfurds are particularly well. 
The latter will soon be up among you, and at his post, for 
the opening of a campaign of no common interest and 
anxiety. For my part, I am terribly frightened, for the 
first time in my life. Lord John, I believe, does not know 
what fear is. Sanspeur as sans reproche. But it must 
be a comfort to know, that even he thinks we can get out 
of the mess in Ireland without some dreadful calamity ; 
and how ugly, in fact, do things look all round the world ! 

In spite of all this, I must wish you a merry Christmas ! 



and, as we have now got to the darkest day of the physical 
year, desire you to hope that we may also find ourselves 
at our social and political mid-winter, and try to beliere 
that hrighter days are coming. And so, with all good 
wishes, ever, my dear Lady John, your ohliged and faith- 
ful, &c. 

184. — To Mr. Umpson. 

Craigcrook, Sunday, SOtli May. 

!Bless you all, my darlings ! and keep you well, and 
loving, and happy! Tl^e world looks happy here, this 
morning, for May is going out rather more like herself 
than she came in, or has hitherto progressed. There was 
a glorious moon last night and a bright sun this morning, 
and the ther. is up to sixty-two, (which, as it is only ten 
clock yet, we think a great deal,) and there is but little 
wind, and the grass is of a deeper green, and the new 
leafing of the trees so light, and tender, and graceful, and 
the sheep so well washed by the thunder-showers of yes- 
terday morning, so white and foam-like, as they lie in 
tufts on the lawn, and the boy is full of egg, and Tarley 
of bacon, i^d Granny does not go to church, but Ali in- 
stead, and the horses and donkey, too, have a holiday, and 
we are to walk all together over the hills and under the 
greenwood, and not to do work, or have lessons more than 
we like, and we have no spite, or envy, or ambition among 
us, and no pains (to speak of) in our bodies, and no re- 
morses, or ennuies, or want of alacrity in our minds, and 
so we have reason, I think, for thankfulness and content. 

If you were here with me, I could help you, I think, to 
some purpose, with the £eview ;* but, at this distance, I 
can do little good. I told you yesterday that St. Francis 
had rather disappointed me, and that I liked Tancred very 

• Which Mr. Empson now oondaoted. 


well, and, as yet, that is all I have s^n. * I have no doubt 
that the time jou havQ spent on Barton and Baile j mil 
turn out very well spent. I think you have a better 
knack, even than me, in touching in lights and bringing 
out -effects, by such r&viaals, as I have less patience to 
watch the capacities of improvement, and was more given 
to dash out and substitute, by wholesale, than to inter- 
weave graces or lace seams; besides that, your method 
has the advai^tage of startling the original authors less, 
and may often leave them, indeed, unconscious (and un- 
thankful) of the regeneration thus gradually wrought in 
them ; only do not make yourself sick, nor neglect your 
other duties, for the reformation of those sinners. 

I have had a walk since I wrote this, and met Granny 
and the babes on the hill, and brought them home to din- 
ner ; and now Ali has returned to her post and the boy 
has nestled again in her bosom, though he never seemed 
to misfr her absence. It is but poor summer yet,^ and May 
will depart, after all, without honour or blessings. There 
is more wind than I thought of, and the feeling of the air 
is chilly, even at three o'clock, Ther. only sixty-three. 
Why the devil do you keep so much of the heat to your- 
selves ? Yet our lilies are very superior, but will be over 
before you can see them ; and we have some china roses, 
both red and yellow, and plenty of honeysuckle, and some 
splendid azalias, and good peonies — though these, too, will 
not wait your coming — ^and fair promise of rhododendrons 
and gentians, still in matchless glory, though hardly a 
flower on the geraniums. You see, I have been taking a 
correct survey of our flora ; and, in truth, there is scarcely 
a plant that I have not visited in the leisurely atroU of 
this morning. Granny being home, I have had no the- 
ology, or philosophy, with Tarley, but have commenced' 
very peacefully with myself. 


185. — Ho Mr%. Emp9an. 

Ed!iiVttf|^ SoDdfty* 
Tonr Sunday's blessings is it? That jou maybe well 
sure of; and hero it is for yon, as warm and hearty aad 
earnest as I can give it; and much good may it do your 
good heart, as I feel it will, and to mine too, that is not a 
penny the poorer for giving it. ' A nice Sunday, too, it is, 
though more autumnal than it has been — thermometer 
down to 44, and wind a little off the north; but a bright, 
cheerful day, with clear distances all round, and brilliant 
effects of light and shade on tower and tree, and hill and 
water. Granny^ went to church, and I read a very inte- 
resting little volume of << Irish Ballad Poetry," published 
by that poor DvSj of the If ation, who died so prematurely 
the other day. There are some most pathetic, and many 
most spirited, pieces; and all, with scarcely an exception, 
so entirely national. Do get the book, and read it. I 
am most struck with Loggarth Aroon^ after the two first 
stanzas; and a long, racy, authentic, sounding dirge for 
the Tyrconnel Princes* (p. 103.) But you had better begin 
with the Irish Emigrant, and the Girl of Loch Dan, which 
innnediately follows, which will break you in more gently 
to the wilder and more impassioned parts. It is published 
in 1845, and as a part of << Duffy's Library of Ireland.'^ 
You see what a helpless victim I still am to these enchan- 
ters of the lyre. I did not mean to say but a word of this 
book to you, and here I am furnishing you with extracts. 
But Ood bless all poets ! and you will not grudge them a 
share even of your Sunday benedictions. Meggie is 
charming. She and Buckley'^ had a long ramble, and 
Tusculan disputation, I doubt not, in our classic back 
garden, among falling leaves and falling waters; and she 

« A nursery maid. 


has since had a good dinner ; and how she is busked up 
very fine with all Granny's bracelets and necklaces, with 
a bright handkerchief, turban fashion, on her head, and 
her petticoats looped up, to show off one very resplendent 
garter; and in all that finery I left her insisting on being 
hired as a maid of. all work, — she would scour all the 
kettles, and sleep contentedly in the ashes ! I have no 

186.— Tb Mr. Oharh% LiehenB. 

Edinburgh, 81 st Januarj, 1847. 
Oh, myslear, dear Dickens! what a No. 5 you have now 
given us! I have so cried and sobbed over it last night, 
and again this morning; and felt my heart purified by 
those tears, and blessed and loved you for making me shed 
them ; and I never can bless and love you enough. Since 
that divine Nelly was found dead on her humble couch, 
beneath the snOw and the ivy, there has been nothing like 
the actual dying of that sweet Paul, in the summer sun- 
shine of that lofty room. And: the long vista that leads 
us so gently and sadly, and yet so gracefully and win- 
ningly, to that plain consummation! Every trait so true, 
and so touching — and yet lightened by that fearless inno- 
cence which goes playfully to the brink of the grave, and 
that pure affection which bears the unstained spirit, on its 
soft and lambent flash, at once to its source in eternity. 
In reading of these delightful children^ how deeply do we 
feel that "of such is the kingdom of Heaven;" and how 
ashamed of the contaminations whi)[^h our manhood has 
received from the 6ontact of the earth, and wonder how 
you should have been admitted into that pure communion, 
and so "presumed, an earthly guest, and drawn Empyreal 
air," though for our benefit and .instruction. Well, I did 
not mean to say all this; but this I must say, and you will 
believe it, that of the many thousand hearts that will melt 



and swell over these pages, there can be few that will feel 
their chain so deeply as mine, and scarcely any so gr<i^ 
fully. Bat after reaching this climax in the fifth number, 
what are you to do with the fiflteen that are to follow? — 
«The wine of life is drawn, and nothing left but the dull 
dregs for this poor world to brag of." So I shall say, and 
fear for any other adventurer. But I have unbounded 
trust in your resources, though I have a feeling that you 
will have nothing in the sequel, if indeed in your whole 
life, equal to the pathos and poetry, the truth and the ten- 
derness, of the four last pages of this number, for those, 
at least, who feel and ju4ge like me. I am most ansdous 
and impatient, however, to see how you get on, and begin 
already to conceive how you may fulfil your formerly in- 
credible prediction, that I should come to take an interest 
in Dombey himself. Now, that you have got his stony 
heart into the terrible crucible of affliction, though I still 
retain my incredulity as to Miss Tox and the Major, I feel 
that I (as well as they) am but clay in the hands of the 
potter, and may be moulded at your will. It is not worth 
while, perhaps, to go back to the Battle of Life; but I 
wish to say, that on reading it over a second time, I was so 
charmed with the sweet writing and generous jsentiments, 
as partly to forget the faults of the story, and to feel that 
if you had had time and space enough to develope and 
bring out your conception, you must probably have dis- 
armed most of your censors. But the general voice, I 
fancy, persbts in refusing it a place among your best 
pieces. This Dombey, however, will set all right, and make 
even the envious and jealous ashamed of saying any thing 
against you. 

But I forget to thank you for your most kind and inte- 
resting letter of December 27th. I jcertainly did not mean 
to ask you for the full and clear, if not every way satis^ 
factory, statement you have trusted me with. But I do 
feel the full value of that confidence, and wish I had any 


better return to make to it than mere tliankSy and idle, 
because general advice. I laa rather disappointed, I must 
OWU) at finding your erniankment still so small. But it is 
a great thing to have made a beginning, and laid a founda- 
tion ; and you are young enough to reckon on living many 
years under the proud roof of the completed structure, 
whicfh even I expect to see ascending in its splendour. 
But when I consider that the public has, upon a moderate 
computation, paid at least jS1<)0,000 for your works, (and 
had a good bargain too at the money,) it is rather provok- 
ing to think that the author should not now have . — -. — 
in bank, and have never received, I suspect, above 

— '• . There must have been some mismanagement, 

I think, as well as illrluok, to have occasioned this result — 
not extravagance on your part, my dear Dickens — nor even 
excessive beneficence — ^but improvident arrangements with 
publishers — and too careless a control of their proceedings. 
But you are wiser now ; and, with Foster's kind and judi- 
cious help, will soon redeem the effects of your not ungene- 
rous errors. I am as far as possible from grudging you 
the elegances and indulgences which are fti^table to your 
tasteful and liberal nature, and which you have so fully 
earned ; and should indeed be grieved not to see you sur- 
rounded, and your children growing up, in ihe midst of 
the refinements, which not only gratify the relishes, but 
improve the capacities, of a cultivated mind. All I venture 
to press on you is the infinite importance, and unspeakable 
comfort, of an achieved and secure independence ; taking 
away all anxiety about decay of health or mental alacrity, 
or even that impatience of task work which is apt to 
steal upon free spirits who would work harder and better, 
if redeemed from the yoke of necessity. But this is twad- 
dle enough, and must be charitably set down to the score 
of my paternal anxiety and senile caution. 

How funny that beaain of yours for midnight rambling 
in city streets, and how curious that Macaulay should have 


the same taste or fancy. If I thoaght tnere was any sach 
inspiration as yours to be caught by the practice, I should 
expose my poor irritable trachea^ I think, to a nocturnal 
pilgrimage without scruple. But I fear I should have my 
venture for my pains. I wish I had time to discuss the 
grounds and extent of my preference of your soft and ten- 
der characters, to the humorous and grotesque ; but I can 
only say now, that I am as far aS possible from undervalu- 
ing the merit, and even the charm of the latter ; only it is 
a lower and more imitable style. I have always thought 
Quilp and Swiveller great marvels of art; and yet I should 
have admired the last far less, had it not been for his re- 
deeming gratitude to the Marchioness, and that inimitable 
convalescent repast, with his hand locked in hers, and her 
tean of delight. If you will only own that you are prouder 
of that scene, than of any of his antecedent fantasticals, 
I shall be satisfied with the conformity of our judgments. 
And so God bless you, and your dear Kate, and my charm- 
ing boy, land all his brothers and sisters, and all whom you 
love, and love you-^with you, or at a distance. I have 
been pretty well all this winter, and better, I think, on the 
whole, than last year. So that I hope to be able to 
go south in spring, and see you early in April. Char- 
lotte is quite well, and all my grandchildren, of whom the 
little delicate fairy one is still with us, and sometimes brings 
me rather painfully in mind of your poor little Paul — both 
from her fragility, and strong old-fashioned affectionate sa- 
gacity. But she is improving in health, and I hope will 
not re-enact that sweet tragedy amongst us. Give my kind 
love to Kate, and do not let her forget me. Name me, too, 
sometimes to the boy. And so my dear Dickens, ever, 
very affectionately yours. 

P. S. — Harriet Brown is here now, and much flattered 
by your remembrance of her. Will you not come and 
have another tSte-d-tete in the rumble ? Do think of it 
for next summer. 


187.-^0 Mr. JEmpson. 

Edinburgh, Slst' January, 1847. 

Bless you, great and small, and all that are dear to 
you — near at hand or far off. Tour Friday letters not 
yet come. 

5^. — Here are your letters. But here is uncle John 
and Harry ; and now dinner — and so. 

7. — Very nice parched haddock, and loin of roast pork 
from Bossie, with apple sauce and tomata. — ^Yery well ; — 
but you take my warning about Prince Arthur^ too se- 
riously. I am sure you will do what is right and kind, 
and nothing else. But I think the chances are against 
him, and that it will be long enough before he gets .£800 
a year in England, or be as rich at the end of the next 
ten years by staying here as by going there, however 
small the riches inay be either way. But there is a Pro- 
vidence .to whom the shaping of our ends must be left after 
all, and in whom I am for putting trust cheerfully. Only 
teach him habits of economy and self-denial, which are the 
humble elements of proud independence, and I doubt not 

he will do very well. I return you your letters and 

Stephens to me, though I would withhold it from all but 
you ; both because these barings of the heart should not 
be shown, except to one's other 9elfy and because there are 
expressions of tenderness and affeftion for me which it 
would be vainglorious in me to exhibit in any other quarter. 
But you will not so judge, nor doubt me, when I say that 
I was as much surprised as gratified by those e:q>ressions, 
which I had called out by only a few words of simple and 
hearty sympathy with his late affliction, and of regard for 
himself. There is something very touching in his fond 
and partial (is it not ?) account of the poor boy, — ^though 

* A neph«w of Mr. Bmpson. 
Vol. n.— 28 


he probablj gave you something like it when you saw him. 
I am better to-day, and have had a walk with Harriet 
Brown and by myself. A snow shower in the morning, 
but the day bright ; thermometer 33, and a glorious sun- 

188.— To Mrs. Fletcher. 

Shftnklin, Isle of Wight, 
Tuesday, 20th April, 1847. 

My ever dear Mrs. Fletcher — 

I W(yald have run up to Ryde, and crossed the stdrmy 
water to look once more on your affectionate eyes, and 
hear the kind throb of your long-remembered voice. But 
I dare not venture as it is, and can only say God bless you 

I did not get your kind note till it was too late to answer - 
it by the post of yesterday. We are all very well here, 
but the poor patriarch who is telling you so— though he id 
generally in no Very compassionate state, and has every 
reason to be gratified by the t)rompt and neVer-failing kind- 
ness of those about him^ and is sometimes, he fears, rather 
flattered by the veneration with which he is treated, as th« 
Methuselah of the family, by the imps df the third genera- 
tion. We have got a very nice house here with a pretty 
lawn sloping down before it: over the shtubs of which, 
and the tufts of woodfteyond, we have two separate peeps 
of the blue and lonely sea* The village is very small and 
scattery, all mixed up with trees, and lying among sweet 
airy falls and swells of ground, which finally rise up behind 
to breezy downs 800 feet high and sink down in front to 
the edge of the varying cliffbj which overhang a pretty 
beach of fine sand, and are approachable by a very striking 
wooded ravine which they call the Chine. I wish you 
could have come here and enjoyed the rural solitude and 
air of sweet repose which is the chief charm of the place 

TO MRS. BMPSOir. 827 

in my eyes. I hope you have had a pleasant meeting 
with Mrs. Taylor, to w^om I beg to be kindly remembered. 
To Mary I will not send less than my love. We shall 
stay h^re till 3d or 4th May, and then go for a week to 
Haileybury, again before starting for the north. Is therfi 
no chanoe-of our meeting before we put the Border between 
us ? At all events, let me know the plan of your summer 
campaign. I shall be in quarters at Craigcrook, I belierei 
from May till November ; and so with entire respect, and 
what is much better, most true love, believe me always, my 
dear Mrs. Fletcher, very affectionately yours. 

189.— To Mrs. Umpson. 

Craigorook, Simday, 28d May, 1847. 
Bless you ever I and this is my first right earnest, tran- 
quil, Sunday blessing, since my return ; for, the day after 
my arrival, I was in a worry with heaps of unanswered 
letters and neglected arrangements. But to*day I have 
got back to my old Sabbath feeling of peace, love, and 
seclusion. Granny has gone to church, and the babes and 
doggies are out walking ; and I have paced leisurely round 
my garden, to the songs of hundreds of hymning blackbirds 
and thrushes, and stepped stately along my terrace, among 
the bleaters in the lawn below, and possessed my heart in 
quietness, and felt that there was sweetness in. solitude, 
and that the world, whether to^ be left, or to be yet awhile 
lived in, is a world to be loved, and only to be enjoyed by 
those who find objects of love in it. And this is the sum 
of the matter; and the first and last and only enduring 
condition of all good people, when their fits of vanity and 
ambition are off them, or finally sinking to repose. Well, 
but here has been Tarley, come, of her own sweet will, to 
tell me, with a blush and a smile, and ever so little of a 
stammer, that she would like if I would walk with her ) 
and we have been walking, hand in hand, down to the 


bottom of the quarry, where the water is growing, though 
slowly, and op to the Keith's ^weetbriar alley, very 
sweet and resonant with music of birds, and rich with 
cowslips and orchis; and o?er the style back to our 
domains; and been sitting in the warm comer by the 
gardener's house, and taking cognisance of the promise 
of gooseberries and currants, of which we are to have 
pies, I think, next week; and gazing at the glorious 
bri^tness of the gentians, and the rival brightness 
of the peacock's neck; and discoursing of lambs and^ 
children, and goodness and happiness, and their elements 
and connections. Less discussion, though, than usual, in 
our Sunday Tusculans, and more simple chat, as 
friend to another. And^now she has gone to sharpen her 
teeth for dinner, and tell as much as^he likes of our dis- 
ceptations ; and I come back to my letter. We met the 
boy and Ali early in our ramble, and he took my other 
hand for a while; but Ali would not trust him in the 
quarry, and so we parted — on the brink of perdition-r-and 
he roared lustily at sight of our peril. You beat us 
terribly as to weather still ; for last night was positively 
cold with us, ther. at midnight down to 44, and a keen, 
clear, sharp-looking sky. To-day it has not yet been 
above 50, and there are but scanty sun-^eams. All 
which forebodes, if it does not ensure, a late harvest, 
which will this year be as great a calamity as a scanty 
one, which it is likely enough to be also. I fear the most 
of the mortality from famine ; and pestilence is still to* 
come even for this year ; and it is too painful to think 
of. I persist in my early rising, and am down at break- 
fast every morning at 9}; so that you bad better be 
putting yourselves in training, if you mean, as I hope you 
do, to join with me in the rites of that national meal. I 
rather think, too, that I am better than my average at 
Shanklin ; though I do not ascribe this either to those 
virtuous exertions, or the sanitary influence of my court 


work, and should be at a loss, indeed, to point out any 
specific amendment. A line from Harriet £rown this 
morning : all very well. 

190.-^0 Mr. JEmpson. 

Grftigerook, Sunday, 1st June, 1847. 
All as well here as yesterday, and all joining in San- 
day's blessings on you, and all that is near and dear to 
you. And is not this enough for a Sunday letter ? and a 
good example — ^a pattern for you, when you are pleased 
to soothe and cheer us with your pencillings ? I have 
really very little else to tell you. It was showery this 
mornings so that Tarley and I had not our usual tSte-lt-t§te 
ramble. But we had a loug^ ^nd pleasant confabulation, 
notwithstanding, in which I initiated her into the mys- 
teries, of numeration, and pretty well taught her the forms 
as well as the names of all the cyphers, from 1 to 10, with 
which she was much interested ; and after that we had a 
disputation on the uses and pleasures of reading, and of 
the good and object of going to church, though I confitied 
my views chiefly to the moral rather than to the religious 

After Mam. returned I read an hour, with much and 
deep interest, in Arnold's Life and Letters. He must have 
been a noble fellow, though even he could never have made 
the system of our public schools other than most mischiev- 
ous. I wish to heaven I had had the pleasure of knowing 
him, and hope I may yet, where there will be no doubt 
about creeds, and no real disagreement among good people. 
After it cleared up, we all walked together towards Lau- 
riston, &c. . 

A great man has fallen in Israel ! Poor Chalmers was 

* This dear child died on the 4th of August, 1850, aged tweWe, having 

surriyed her grandfather, who would probably not have surriyed her so 

long, about six months. 


880 Lm OF LOED jramxT. 

found dead in his bed yesterday morning* He had pMaelied 
the day before, and sat up rather late preparing to make 
an important statement in Free Chorch Crmeral Assembly 
that very day. He was, I think, a great and a good man ; 
and the most simple, natural, and nnassmning religionist I 
have ever known. I am very sorry that I shall hear his 
Yoiee no more.— ^Ever yours. 

191.— To Mr9. A. Butherfurd. 

Craigcrool, Monday, 2Ist Jime, 1847. 

My ever dear Sophia — ^You cannot write a stupid lettor 
if you tried. But I shall show you that I can, and with- 
out any extraordinary effort either, as appeareth by this 
following. I have no news to tell you, and no gossip, nor 
scandal. Our weather has been summerish of late, but 
never quite summer. The thermometer seldom up to 60, 
and many showers. But we are very green and blossomy, 
and what we hermits call very beautiful. More fastidious 
people would say this of Lauriston, which was never in 
greater glory, though a glory I fear the first flush and 
freshness of which will have departed before you can see 
it. We have trespassed on its enchanted solitude several 
times of late, and I have enjoyed several lofhely and stately 
pacings along your terrace, in the company of thoughts 
which did no wrong to its absent mistress. I need not say 
that We miss you, nor even that we miss no one so much, 
or that there is no one left whom we shopdd miss so much 
if he (or she) were to go. Well, but you are coming back, 
and though midsummer is already past, you will bring 
brightness and warmth to arrest the chilling of tiie year. 

This you must know is our sweet Maggie's birthday. 
Bix pleasant years being over, during which she has blos- 
somed (through all seasons) by our side, and been all that 
time the light of our eyes, and the love of our hearts. We 
have piled up a great bonfire in her honour, round which 

70 HUg. BtTTHWURD. 881 

the other children, with Maggie Butherfurd and her bro- 
ther (who have been much with us of late), are to dance and 
sing, when it is lighted after dinner ; and we have also 
hung oat a great flag on our topmost tower, which is waving 
proudly in the wind, and announcing to all the country 
that this h a day of festival atid genial wishes with all who 
live under its shadow. Does your London £nery arm it^^ 
self with a disdainful smile at our poor village holidaying ? 
Never mind ;-^one fSte in the lo&g run is pretty much aif 
good as another, »nd the best perhaps is that which gives 
the least trouble. . 

I am glad you at'C well, and expect to be much interested 
and egay^ by the little bitis of your London experiences, 
with which I reckon on your entrusting me when we get 
within whispering distance of each other once more. How 
long it does seem since you went, Mid how short my look 
forward now is, to the day when we must part for a longer 
time ! I am very tolerably Well though^ and not a bit more 
alarmed at the prospect than the six-year old of the day, 
and the young band that is to celebrate that small anni^ 
versary. We expect the residuary Empsons in the first 
we^k of July, and fear they will then be soon enough to 
welcome your return. They leave here about the 28th, 
but are to stop a week in Yorkshire with hia relations. 

The Cockburnd seem very happy with their Indian 
revenant George and his little wife, who is about to pro- 
duce a new grandchild for thetn, &c. 

And so, God bless you, my dear, and s^nd you soon 
back to your loving friends, and your own quiet, pure, and 
innocent shades ! Have I kept my word with you ? and 
sent you ik nice bit of amiable twaddle, and all quite natu-* 

Charlotte is down at the sea with the children. We 
have three female Moreheads here with us — all very agree- 
able, and one very sick, but I hope on the way of recovery. 
Ever and ever affectionately yours. 


192.— To a Grandchild. 

Crvgerook, 2l8t June, 18i7. 

A high day ! and ft holiday ! the longest and the bright- 
est of the year ! the very middle day of the Bnmmer — 
and the rery day when Maggie first opened her sweet eyes 
on the light! Bless you ever, my darling, and bonny 
bairn. You have now blossomed beside ns for six pleasant 
years, and been all that time the light of our eyes, and the 
love of oar hearts — at first the cause of some tender fears 
from your weakness and delicacy — ^then of some little 
provocation, from your too great love, as we thought, of 
your own will and amusement — but now only of Jove and 
admiration for your gentle obedience to your parents, and 
your sweet yielding to the wishes of your younger sister 
and brother. God bless and keep you then for ever, my 
delightful and ever improving child, and make you, not 
only gay and happy, as an angel without sin and sorrow, 
but meek and mild, like that heavenly child, who was once 
sent down to earth for our example. 

Well, the sun is shining brightly on our towers and 
trees, and the great bonfire is all piled up and ready to be 
lighted, when we come out after drinking your health at 
dinner ; and we have ,got a great blue and yellow flag 
hung out on the tower, waving proudly in the wind, and 
telling all the country around, that this is a day of re- 
joicing and thanksgiving, and wishes of happiness, with 
all who live under its shadow. And the servants are all 
to have a fine dinner, and wine and whisky to drink to 
your health, and all the young Christies (that is the new 
gardener's children,) will be taught to repeat your name 
with blessings ; and, when they are drawn up round the 
bonfire, will wonder a little, I daresay, what sort of a 
creature this Miss Maggie can be, that we are making all 
this fuss about! and so you must take care, when you 


come, to be good enoagh, and. pretty enough, to make 
them understand why we all so love and honour you. 

Frankie and Tarley have been talking a great deal 
about you this morning already, and Granny is going to 
take them and Maggie Butherfurd and her brother down 
to the sea at Oramond — that they may tell the fishes and 
the distant shores what a happy and hopeful day it is to 
them, and to us all. And so bless you again, my sweet 
one, for this and all future years. Think kindly of one 
who thinks always of you ; arid believe, that of all who 
love you, there is none who has loved you better or longer, 
or more constantly, than your loving Grandpa. 

19S.— To the Lord Provost of JEdinburgh, 

^ Graigperook, Thursday Eyexung, 
iBt July, 1847. 

My dear Lord Provost-^My health will not allow me to 
be at your meeting ;"*" but there will be no one there more 
truly anxious for its success. 

I must confess, however, that it was a great mortifica- 
tion to me, and will ever be a cause of regret, that it 
fthould have been found necessary thus to set on foot a 
new association for carrying into effect the objects which 
I certainly understood to have been contemplated in Mr. 
Guthrie's beautiful and admirable appeal, and that I was 
not in the least prepared for those recent proceedings of 
the committees to which their promotion was entrusted, 
by which (whatever may have been intended) it is now ap- 
parent and undeniable that a large and very necessitous 

* A pubUc meeting of the subscribers to the Original Bagged School; 
. caUed for the purpose of having it clearly ascertained, whether it was 
true that the establishment was to be so exclusiyely Protestant that, 
practicaUy, Boman Catholic children would not be allowed, or could 
not be expected, to attend it. The result was the erection of that ad- 
mirable institution, 7%e United InduttruU School 

884 LSffi OF tOBD JSRSisr. 

portion of those for whom such schools were required, will 
be practically excluded from the benefit of them. 

I cannot and do not presume to question the perfect 
purity of the motives by which such men as Mr. Guthrie, 
Mr. Shmff Spiers, and their many excellent associates, 
must have been actuated ; nor can I doubt th^t, under their 
management, much good will still be effected, though in a 
far narrower field than Idiat which I expected to see pro- 
-fiting by their 9seal, wisdom, and charity. X do not re- 
pent, therefore, in any degree, that I had placed « mode- 
xate subscription in their handSy before J was aware of the 
partial disappointment that was impending ; and I do not 
mean or wish to withdraw any part of that subscription. 

But when I find men so eminently liberal, conscientious, 
and judicious, unable to devise any plan for so combining 
religious with secular instruction, as to avoid offending and 
alienating others as liberal, conscientious, and judicious as 
thems^ves, I must say that I am confirmed and riveted 
in the conviction I have long entertained, that no such 
combination is possible in the public teaching or adminis- 
tration of any school to be supported by the public at 
large, or by contributions from aJl daeses of the commu- 
nity; and hold, indeed, the same principle to apply to all 
endowments or grants in aid of such schodbs, by the gene- 
ral government of the country. In so far as they are 
public or general schools, to which the children of all com- 
munions are entitled and invited to resort, I think they 
should aim only at imparting secular inatructioi^, and that 
their ordinary teachers should meddle with nothing be- 

It will not, I ^rust, be inferred from this, that I think 
lightly of the importance, or indeed qnesti<m the absolute 
necessity of early religious instruction. On the contrary, 
J am decidedly of opinion that no merely intellectual 
training would be of any value without it, and might often, 
indeed, be positively pernicious ; and so deep is my con- 


viction on this point, that I should not object to see it 
made imperative on the parents (or patrons) of all the 
children sent to these schools, to fihow that adequate pro- 
vision had been made for their training in religious know- 
ledge and feelings. But the difference between this and 
that secular information to which I would confine the 
general or public teaching, is, that the latter maj be best 
given in common, and at one and the same time, to all 
who stand in need of it; while the other can never be 
given, either in peace or with effect, except to each sect or 
communion of religioniats apart. 

Why this should be so, or how it should have proved so 
impracticable to contrive flome system of Christian in- 
struction 80 elementary, and so pure from topics of con- 
troversy, as to be acceptable to all who are Christians, is 
not for me to explain. But it is enough that every day's 
experience, ajid the proceedings that have led to the pre- 
sent meeting, afford ahiolute dermmtration of the fact. 
And it is upon this conviction that the experiment of 
keeping the two kinds of instruction entirely separate, 
and undertaking only the secular department in the pub- 
lic schools, is, I understand, to be recommended to the 

In this recommendation I most cordially and earnestly 
concur; and cannot but liope that, if wisely conducted, it 
may iset an example which the growing conviction of re- 
flecting and observing men will soon cause to be followed 
in eveiy quarter of the land. 

I. take the liberty of annexing a dca^ft for £25, as my 
present contribution to the undertaking. — ^And am always, 
my dear Lord Provost, very faithfully yours. 


194.-70 Mr. CharlM Dickens. 

Croigorook, Blaokhall, Edinburgh, 
Monday, 6th Jti^j, 1847. 

My ever dear Dickens — You know I am your Oritie 
Laureate; and, by rights, should present you with a birth- 
day offering, on the appearance of every new number. 
But your births come so fast, that my poor hobbling chro- 
nicle cannot keep up with them; and you are far more 
prolific of bright inventions than I can afford to be of dull 
remarks. But I thank you, and bless you, not the less 
(internally) for every new benefaction, and feel that I must 
thank you this time in words, even though it should tire you ; 
for I am always afraid of falling somewhat out of your 
remembrance; or rather, perhaps, of your fancying that 
I am getting too old and stupid to relish and value you as 
I ought ; but, indeed, I am not, and am, in every way, 
quite as worthy of yout remembrance as ever- 

I cannot tell you how n^uch I have been charmed with 
your last number, and what gentle sobs and delightful 
tears it has cost me. It is the most finished, perhaps, in 
diction ; and in the delicacy and fineness of its touches, 
both of pleasantry and pathos, of any you have ever given 
us; while it rises to higher and deeper passions; not rest* 
ing, like most of the former, in sweet thoughtfulness, and 
thrilling and attractive tenderness, but boldly wielding all 
the lofty and terrible elements of tragedy, and bringing 
before us the appalling struggles of a proud, scornful, and 
repentant spirit. I am proud that you should thus show 
us new views of your genius— but I shall always love its 
gentler magic the most; and never leave Kelly and Paul 
and Florence for Edith, with whatever potent spells you 
may invest her ; though I am prepared for great things 
from her. I must thank you, too, for the true and pathetic 
poetry of many passages in this number — Dombey's brief 


vision in the after dinner table, for instance, and that grand 
and solemn progress, so full of fancj and feeling, of dawn 
and night shadows, over the funeral church. I am pre- 
pared too, in some degree, for being softened towards 
Dombey; for you have made me feel sincere pity for Miss 
Tox; though, to be sure, only by making her the victim 
of a still more hateful and heartless creature than herself; 
and I do not know where you are to find any thing more 
hateful and heartless than Dombey. For all I have yet 
seen, it should only requite to see him insulted, beggared, 
and disgraced. 

Perhaps I hate Carker even more, already; so much, 
indeed, that it would be a relief to me if you could do 
without him. And I must tell you, too, that I think him 
the least natural of all the characters you have ever exhi- 
bited (for I do not consider Quilp, Or Dick Swiveller, as at 
all out of nature); but it seemi^ to me that a Eiiight Tem- 
plar in the disguise of a waiter, is not a more extravagant 
fiction, than a man of high gifts and rare accomplishments, 
bred and working hard every day as a subordinate manager 
or head clerk in a merchant's counting-house. One might 
pass his extreme wickedness and malignity, though they, 
too, are quite above his position ; but the genius and at- 
tainments, the manners and scope of thought, do strike me 
as not reconcileable with any thing one has yet heard of 
his history, or seen of his occupations. But I must sub- 
mit, I see, to take a great interest in him, and only hope 
you will not end by making me love him too. 

Well; but how have you been? And how is the poor 
child who was so cruelly hustled against the portals of life 
at his entry? And his dear mother? And my bright 
boy? And all the rest of the happy circle? And where 
are you now? And where to be for the summer? And 
will you not come to see us here (where we shall be con- 
stantly with the Empsons, after to-morrow, I hope till 
October, and after that by ourselves till November)? And 

Vol. n— 29 W 


how does the People's Edition prosper T And how does 
the embankment proceed ? And do you begin to feel the 
germs of a pradent avarice, and anticipated pride of purse, 
working themselves into your breast? And whom do you 
mostly live with ? or wish to live with ? And among whom, 
and in what condition, do yon most aspire to die ? Though 
I am not exactly your father confessor, you know I always 
put you tiirough your Catechism; and I do expect and re- 
quire an answer to all these interrogatives* 

I have been tolerably well since I saw you, though a 
little more disordered than usual for the last fortnight. 
However, we have our long holidays after the 20th; and 
I expect my daughter, with the rest of my grandchildren 
(we brought two down with us) to-morrow, or next day* 
We have had quite a cool summer, but are now looking 
very green and leafy, and with roses in my garden as I 
should be quite proud to crown you with. But here are 
people come in upon me, and I have no hope of getting 
rid of them before the post goes. So God bless you! my 
dear Dickens; and with the truest love to my true-hearted 
Kate and all true Dickenses, believe me always, ever and 
ever yours. 

195.-^0 Charles Dickens, Mq. 

CraigoTook, BlaokhaU, 
Sunday, 12th September, 1847. 

My dear Dickens — I have had a horrid phlegmon on my 
cheek, which, after keeping me in a sleepless fever for a 
full week, was savagely c^t into only four days ago, and 
is not quite cured yet. Nothing else could have kept back 
my little laureate offering on your last happy bkth, and 
my thanks for all the pleas,ure it has given, and all the 
good it has dpne me. That first chapter, and the scenes 
with Fhrenee and Hdithy are done with your finest and 
happiest hand; so soft and so graceful, and with such de« 


licate toaches of deep feeling, and passing intimations of 
coming griefs, and woman's loveliness, and loving nature, 
shown in SQch contrasted embodiments of gentle innocence 
and passionate pride; and yet all brought under the potent 
spell of oiie great master, and harmonized by the grace as 
well as the power of his genius, into a picture in which 
^very one nmst recognise, not only the truth of eadi indi* 
^idual figure, but the magic effect of their grouping. Ton 
have the f(»rce Mid t&e nature of Scott in his pathetic parts, 
without his occasional coarseness and wordiness, and the 
searching disclosure of inward agonies of Byron, without 
a trait of his widsjcdness. 

Well, now, but what are you gaing to do ? Somebody 
was saying the other day, that you were expected in Scot* 
land; but I think you would not have withheld so pleasant 
a piece cf information from me, if yon liad had it to give. 
Yet you did tell me something about a possible dinner at 
Glasgow; and the season cannot be said to be yet oven 
At all events, let me know. 

My daughter and her children (all but my own adopted 
One) leave us, I grieve to say, in a few day^; and after that, 
we who are left may go for a week into Ayrshire, to divert 
our delausement^ but, after that, we shall be steadily here 
till November, and I am sure I need not say how glad I 
shall be to see you. I am still but weak and washy ; and 
feel that it is no light thing for an old gentleman^ to have 
a great hole dug in his cheek, with a hard swelling round 
it, as large as a cross-'bun at Easter. The truth is, I fear, 
that I am very old ; and a little thing unsettles, and a lit- 
tle more will overthrow me. And yet my low sun looks 
lovingly on the world it is leaving, and will sink gently, I 
hope, and rather in brightnesGf than gloom. 

God bless you, and all who are dear to you 1 — Ever and 
ever, my dear Dickens, affectionately yours. 


196.— To Mrs. JSmpson. 

Edml}nTgh, Friday Nigbt, 
7th November, 1«47. 

Here we are, banished (for a season) from our Paradise, 
and feeling as Adam and Ere did, the first night they 
passed, in the lower world* I certainly was never so sorry 
to part from my shades, and never left them so lovely, or 
00 entire, &;e. 

Well, we came in with sweet Maggie and the birds, just 
about sunset, and the town looked dark and wichedi. Tour 
Wednesday letters were our best consolation, and the 
thought that we should now get them more regularly and 

We left Lady Bell at Craigcrook, waiting for Sophy 
Butherfurd to take her to Lauriston, where there is to be 
a great dinger to Lord John, Lord James Stewart, and 
others. Granny and I dined quietly in our duality, and 
cheered up comfortably enough, at our repast, and over 
the rdsumS of all our old town divertisements with Maggie, 
who was bright as an angel, and as happy. We had the 
play of the red sofa oushion child, and the shadows on the 
wall, and the wilful mistake of poet Gay for Sir Walter, 
and the identification of all the handmaidens in the figures 
of the large pictures over the chimney, besides tossing and 
dancing, till Buckley came to impose silence on our revels. 
Granny has not slept any, and I only mused with my head 
covered, on the sofa. Then we had tea gaily, and some 
pleasant chat, till I happened to go up stairs, and passing 
into our room, saw the door open of that little one where 
you used to sleep, and the very bed waiting there for you, 
so silent and desolate, that all the love, and the miss of 
you, which fell so sadly on my heart the first night. of your 
desertion, came back upon it so heavily and darkly, that I 
was obliged to sh^t myself in, and cry over the recoUec- 


tion, as if all the interval had been annihilated, and that 
loss and sorrow were still fresh and unsubdued before me; 
and though the fit went oiF- before long, I feel still that I 
must vent my heart by telling you of it, and therefore sit 
down now to write all this to you, and get rid of feelings 
that would otherwise be more likely to haunt my vigils of 
the night. It will not give you pain^ I think, to hear of 
it ; for the pain is over, long^over, with me, and you know 
that I have no regrets now, nor any thing but self-gratu- 
lations, and a deep and soothing conviction, to which every 
day adds strength, that what has been, and is, is best and 
happiest for all of us, and in all respects what we should 
have wished and prayed for, except only for the engage- 
ments which keep us so much asunder. But recollections 
will arise, and scenes rush back on the heart, which can 
only be charmed back to repose by unburdening itself to 
hearts that understand it ; and now the spell has done its 
work, and I return to the common world. 

197.— Tb Mrs. Fletcher. 

Craigorook, Thursday, 18th, 1847. 

My dear Mrs. Fletcher — ^Your kind letter of the 12th 
did not reach Hayleybury till we were across the Border, 
and was only forwarded to me last night, &c. ^ 

I am very much interested about what you tell me of 
the early days of ppor Allen, and wish I could repay you 
by any acc9unts you would care about of his latter days. 
His life, I have no doubt, on the whole was a happy one, 
and blameless and amiable. Kind and ever generous in 
his nature, though somewhat cold, and in appearance only 
intellectual; in his manners and views he enjoyed the re- 
spect of all men, and the cordial esteem and confidence of 
all to whom he was intimately known. I did dine with 
Lady Holland within four days of his death, when there 
had been apparent improvement in his symptimis, and she 



mdtilged in Bangome hopes of hiB recovery. Be hki ta^ 
dertaken to make a review of Homer's book, bat had made 
but little progress beyond reading it earefally, and making 
a few notes on the points en whioh he thought of- making 
observations, ko. 

When I said that I had no anecdotes to tell you of 
Allen^ I had forgotten that you might not have heard of 
his request to be buried at Ampthill, and the motive of it* 
When the Hollands lost a very sweet young girl, many 
years ago, Allen was veiy deeply afflicted, as she had 
always been a favourite, and a sort of pupil, and never 
^ent afterward with the family to Ampthill without going 
and sitting alone for an hour in the vault where she #aS 
laid'; and it was in an adjoining vault, which he had con^ 
Btructed at the time, that he ultimately directed his owiK 
body to be placed/ He also gave white frocks and black 
ribbons to twenty young girls of the neighbourhood, such 
as he had 4i*0B8ed lind marshalled to assist at her funerah 
I think you will like to hear this of your old friend, who 
had grown very unlike «a young Greek" certainly, and 
had the air, to most people, of a very unromantic person. 
I cannot tell you how much we all miss you from our 
neighbourhood, and how much we secretly cherish a hope 
that you may in time come to think Edinburgh a fitter 
place (in winter, at least) than the windy vales of West* 
moreland. But I am busy to-day^ and can only say, ever, 
very affectionately yours- 

198.-.3V Mr. Emp%on. 

Bdiitburgli, Saturday, 26ih , 1848. 

What the devil are we to believe about this new French 
revolution ? nothing but electric telegraphs subsequent to 
Ouizot's resignation, and no information by whom* the 
messages are sent, or how they eome. I give no absolute 
credit, therefore, to any thing said to have happened since, 


aad positively disbelieve a great part of it* B«t tl^e u a 
rwolzUtofif I take it^ and France eertainlj, and the cofttine&t 
most probably, and England not improbably, are in for a 
new period of convulsion ! It is scarcely posnble, I fear, 
that things should settle down this time as quietly as they did 
in 1830 ; and though one must rejoice, in the first instance, 
at the failure of this insane assertion of arbitrary power, 
and even at the downfall oi a government which has been 
gradually verging toward illiberal and despotic principles, 
I cannot say that I augur any thing but evil (in the first 
instance, at least, and to the liberal party in this country) 
from this outbreak. An example of successful democratic 
insurrections against regular authority are feared and es* 
chewed by the timid, the cauiiouSy and, generally speaking, 
by the prudent, moderate, and comfortabler classes among 
tts ; and these in peaceful times must alwlB^ys be the leading 
classes, and, in truth, the onlj safe leaders at any time ; 
$nd it would require a far greater outralge than that of 
suppressing the banquets, &;c« to make this class in any 
way tolerant of mobs breaking into senate houses and 
palaces — ^burning the fine furniture, and parading the vaca* 
ted throve in mockery about the streets— and still less of a 
sudden proclamation of the abolition of monarchy, and the 
adoption of a full democracy. And so, though I do not 
think we shall join in a new holy alliance for the restora- 
jtion of legitimate sovereignty by foreiga bayonets, I do 
expect that conservation will again be in the ascendant, 
and all advance in liberal pr popular legislation arrested, 
or pushed bade among us for a long time, by the alarm and 
repugnance that this coarse triumph of a Parisian populace 
will excite. The whole affair is nearly as much a mystery 
to me as ever; but I now incline to believe that the ulti* 
mate catastrophe is to be ascribed rather to the rehnting 
of old Louis P. thaA to his being actually overmastered — 
my theory being that he reckoned (most foolishly and 
GUILTILY, when there was any risk at all) on his vast force 

844 un OT LORD jdfbbt. 

deterring the discontented from any actual resistance ; and 
that when he found they could not be got under (when 
joined by the National Guard) by a sanguinary conflict, he 
shrank from butchering 10,000 or 20,000 of his subjects 
by his regular army ; and though probably quite sure of 
ultimately gaining a complete and bloody victory, thought 
it better, when brought to this dreadful alternative, rather 
to try the effect of compassion, or even submission, than 
go to an issue under which the most complete success must 
have made Paris uninhabitable for him or his descendants, 
and himself an object of loathing and deserved infamy to 
all succeeding generations. He has probably failed in the 
attempt to compromise, but even then, I would fain hope, 
has not repented the resolution, at all events, to avoid that 
savage effusion of blood ; and with that resolution, I do 
trust that his conquerors, if indeed he is conquered, will 
sympathize with and copy him. It also strikes me that 
this furious outbreak is truly to be traced to the want of 
that very electoral reform which its authors were, so un- 
wisely baffled in seeking by other means — ^it being but one 
more example of the general truth, that in all intelligent 
communities, public opinion, if refused its legitimate vents, 
will burst its way through the close system of the govern- 
ment ; but here, luckily for you, is dinner. Good-bye. 

7j^. — It is very foolish writing up this to you from the 
provinces ; but it is difficult to think of any thing else, and 
I must write to you all that I am thinking. Granny writes 
also, however, and will supply the domestic chapten Not 
out of court till four, Saturday though it be. A good 
large party last night. All our snow gone, and weather 
vernal again, though not quite so fine as you make yours. 
Heaven bless you all. — ^Ever, yours. 


199.— 25> Mrs* A. Butherfurd. 

Hayleybupy, Friday^ May 1848. 

My ever dear Sophia— I write to you with a heavier 
heart than ever I did before.* But it helps to lighten it 
that I am sure of your sympathy, and perhaps I take a 
gloomier view of our position than is reasonable. Bright 
came last night. He thinks the disease still progressing, 
though slowly, but is satisfied that the cure must now be 
a work of time ; and therefore thinks it better that she 
should make an effort to go to Craigcrook at once rather 
than wait till moving might be less safe, and staying here 
indefinitely liable to many objections; and is of opinion 
that no material hurt can come of her now going, either 
by easy railway stages, or by water, and I think we have 
now pretty much fixed that shB shall go by sea next 
Wednesday evening, either with her own maid and good 
motherly White to help her, or with White, and Maggie, 
and Mrs. Buckley, while I go by train the same morning, 
either with Maggie and Buckley, or with the three other 
children and their mother and maids, leaving poor Empson 
to follow alone, when his holidays will let him, about a 
fortnight after. 

The last scheme is most in favour to-day and would 
certainly be most agreeable to us all except for its unfair- 
ness to E., who is too kind and generous to say any thing 
against it. But one way or another, if no impediment 
arises, I think there will be a move to th« north next Wed- 
nesday, and would to heaven it were well over, for I cannot 
yet contemplate it and the temporary separation it implies 
without great anxiety. I was resolved at first to embark 
with C., but she was earnest against it, and the recollection 
of my liability to sinking and faintness on any violent in- 

* Mrs. Jeffrey was yery ill. 

M8 LiFB w WBD jimunr. 

testinal difitnrbanee, has made me feel that the experiment 
of encountering sea-sickness would be too rash, and might 
frighten and disturb poor C. more than my poor presence 
could comfort her; and, with two attendants^ I do-trust 
that she will be at least as well oiF as if I was with her. 
We of. the train will stop a night at Carlisle, and be home 
to prepare for the voyagers. 

The poor patient bears up as yet delightfully, and I hope 
her charming constitutional cheerfulness will still remain 
with her, though she is a little low by fits already, and 
often, I fear, uncomfortable. But they talk of long 
courses of mercury, &ic., and I dread she has much to go 
through. She is perfectly aware that she may have a long 
confinement, &c., but I do not think reckons on much suf- 
fering, and seems to make no question of an ultimate re* 
covery, and of course we take care not to frighten her. 

This is very sad, and almost unfair to you, my dear 
Sophia. But you see how I lean on your indulgence. I 
am myself tolerably well, though those things do me no 
good. I shall probably write again before we actually 
start. All the rest are well, and so God bless you-always, 
my dear, and believe me ever and ever yours. 

200.— To a ChandeUU. 

CrugoroolE^ 20th Jvae^ 1648. 

My sonsy Nancy! — ^I love you very much, and think 
very often of your dimples, and your pimples; and your 
funny little plays, and all your pretty ways; and I send 
you my blessing, and wish I were kissing, your sweet rosy 
lips, or your fat finger tips; and that you were here, so 
that I could hear, your stammering words, from a mouth- 
ful of curds; and a great purple tongue (as broad as it's 
long;) and see your round eyes, open wide with surprise, 
and your wondering look, to find yourself at Graigcrook f 
To-morrow is Maggie's hirthdajfy and we have built up a 


great bonfire in honour of it; and Maggie Butkerfitrd (do 
Jim remember her at all ?) is coming out to dance round it; 
aad iJlt&e servants are to drink her health, and wish her 
many happy days with you and Frankie; and all the 
aMonnys and ^appys^ whether grand or not grand. We 
are very glad to hear that she and you love each other sa 
well, and are happy in making each other happy; and that 
y<m do not forget dear Tarley or Frankici when they are 
out of sight, nor Granny eitber-M>r even old Granny pa, 
who is in most danger of being forgotten, he thinks. We 
have had showery weather here, but the garden is foil 
of flowers; and Frankie has a new wheel-barrow, and does 
a great deal of work, and some miichief now and then. 
All the dogs are very well ; and Fozey is mine, and Froggy 
is Tarley 's, and Frankie has taken \p with great white 
Neddy — so that nothing is left for Granny but old barking 
Jacky and Dover when the carriage comes. The donkey 
sends his compliments to you, and maintains that you 
are a cousin of his ! or a near relation, at all events. He 
wishes, too^ that you and Maggie would come, for he thinks 
that you will not be so heavy on his back as Tarley and 
Maggie Butherfard, who now ride him . without mercy. 
iThis is Sunday, and Ali is at church — Granny and I taking 
oare of Frankie till she comes back, and he is now ham- 
mering very busily at a corner of the carpet, which he 
says does not lie Aat^ He is very good, and really too 
pretty for a boy, though I think his two eyebrows are 
growing into one — stretching and meeting each other 
f^ve his nose ! But he has not near so many freckled as 
Tarley-^who has a very fine crop of them— ^which she and 
I encourage as much as we can« I hope you and Maggie 
will lay in a stock of them, as J think no little girl can be 
pretty without them in summer. Our pea-hens are bxlb* 
peet^ of having young families in some hidden place, for^ 
though they pay us short visits now and then, we see them 
but seklom, and always alone. If yoili uid Maggie were 

848 un OT LOED jevvkxt. 

here with your sharp eyes, we think jon might find out 
their secret and introdace as to a nice new family ef young 
peas. The old papa cock, in the mean time, says he knows 
nothing abont them, and does not care a farthing ! We 
envy you your young peas of another kind, for we have none 
yet, nor any asparagus either, and hope you will bring 
some down to ns in your lap. Tarley sends her lore, and I 
send mine to yon all ; though I shall think most of Maggie 
to-morrow morning, and of you when your birth-morning 
comes. When is that, do you know? It is never dark 
now, here, and we might all go to bed without candles* 
And BO bless you ever and ever, my dear, dimply pussie. — 
Your very loving Grandpa. 

ZOl.-^To Mr. Umpsony 

(On receiying a proof of part of Macaolay'B History.) 

Craigcrook, Sunday. 

But I have your nice Friday letter with its precious en- 
closure, which I have devoured with a greedy and epicu- 
rean relish. I think it not only good, but admirable. It 
is as fluent and as much coloured as Livy; as close and 
coherent as Thucydides ; with far more real condensation, 
and a larger thoughtfulness than either; and quite free 
from the affected laconisms and sarcasms and epigrams of 
Tacitus. I do not know that I ever read any thing so 
good as the first forty page^ ; so clear, con^prehensive and 
concise, so pregnant with deep thought, so suggestive of 
great views, and grand and memorable distinctions. What 
follows about the effects of the Reformation, and the cir- 
cumstances which really gave its peculiar (and I have 
always thought mongrel) diaracter to the Church of 
England, though full of force and originality, and indis- 
pensable to the development of his subject, are, to me, 
less attractive, and seem somewhat to encumber, and re- 

TO MR. 0AY1.BY. 849 

tatd the grand marcli on which he had began. But he 
will Boon emerge from that entanglement^ and fall into 
the full force of his Sr'st majestic movement. I shall send 
hack these sheets to the Albany to-morro1r, nnseen, cer- 
tainly, by any eye but my own. I suppose they are al- 
ready thrown off, oi: I woidd suggest the alteration of two 
or three words . and some amendment of the puncttM- 
tion^ &c. 

I have been looking into Sir W. Hamilton's edition of 
Beid, or rather into one of his own annexed dissertations 
« On the Philosophy of Common Sense ;" which, though 
it frightens one with the immensitt/ of its erudition, has 
struck me very much by its vigour, completeness, and in- 
es^orable march of ratiocination. He is a wonderful fellow, 
and I hope may yet be spared to astonish and overawe us 
for years to come. Bo look into that paper, and make 
Jones look at it, and tell me what you think of it. But I 
am also reading Bulwer's Lucretia, which is a remarkable 
work too. Tou should read it all, but Charley may stop, 
if she pleases, (and I think she will please) at the first 
volume, which, in so far as I have read, is by far the most 
pleasing part of the work. I have always thought Bulwer 
a great artist, and with so much more profound and sug- 
gestive remarks than any other novelist, not excepting Sir 
Walter, though not comparable either to him or Dickens, 
Jn genial views and al%ohitely true presentiments of nature, 
&o. — ^Ever yours* 

2Q2.—TO Mr. Oayley. 

Craigcrook, Tuesday, 8th August, 1848. 
My very dear Cayley — ^A great calamity has fallen on 
you, and you must bear it.* It will be hard to bear ; and 
you will long feel its bitterness and its weight. But you 

* The death of Mrs. Cavlev. 
Vol. U.— 30 

8S0 UFB ov tMj> nanxr. 

hftTe daties tbat nuut not be deserfced, wai nSee&na tbat 
iE«8t he met and cheriehed, mad will turn nt last to oom- 
fort aad aoothkg* Heaven eof^porfe and dkrect yon. I 
«innot tell yon how mneh we hare aH been aflUoted and 
enrprked by this tad intelUgenee. 4Bhe was 90 weB, and 
90 faH of hearty and hope, and kindaess, in that short 
gHmpse we had of her in London in May. And now all 
that light is extinguished — and so suddenly! I ait up in 
bed to write this to you, having been confined (and with a 
good deal of pain) for the last ten days, in oonseqoence of 
« sharp surgkal operation I had to undergo to get rid of 
an old wen on my leg. But I could not rest last night for 
tiiinking of yon, and Snr George and 1^ the rest of your 
house of mourning; and feel that it relieves me to give 
you this needless assurance of my deep sympathy, and ii^ 
deed true participation, of your sorrow. Ever since the 
days, now dim and distant, of our first intimacy at £!dinr 
burgh, I have dways regarded myself almost as one of 
your family, and I am sure nobody out of it can feel more 
constant interest in all of you. T ou will not consider my 
writing, therefore, as an impertinence ; I am sare you would 
not, if you could see into my beart at this mom^t, and 
indeed I feel sure that you will not, though I feel too that 
I can do you no good by writing. But you must let me 
know, by and by, how you come on ; and I trust that your 
^delicate heal^ has not suffered materially by this shock. 

Mrs. Jeffrey is almost well again, thov^ stiH weak and 
thin. I have my daughter* and all her children with me. 
They will stay out the sudher, and Empson also -r-And 
so Qod bless you, &c. 

20Z.— To Oharles Dickens^ Usq. 

Gridgcrot>k, 6tii NoTomber, 1848. 

My dew Dickoifl — We muat not grow quite oat of ac- 
^aaintanee^ if jou please ! &c. 

You have put my name alongside of jonr own, <m a 
memorable little page, and have solemBly united tbem 
agiuQy oa tbe head of a ohild, vho will Uve, I hope, 
nether to discredit the one, nor to be ashamed of the 
other. And eo^ for the sake eren of decent consistencyy 
you must really take a little notice of me now and. then, 
and let me haye eome aecount, as of old, of your health 
tod happines0*-of your worldly affairs, and year spiritual 
hopes ^nd experiences — of your literary projects and do- 
mestic felicities — '^our nocturml walks, and dramatic re- 
eteations — of the sale of cheap copies, and the conception 
of bright originals— of your wife aad children ; in ^ort, 
your autumn migrations and winter home — of our last 
pantiiig, which was more humid than usual, and our next 
meeting, which, alas ! I feel to be more and more uncer- 

We have had a good deal of sickness, though really but 
very little sorrow, in our home this year. But we are all 
better now, and the continued welfare and gayety of the 
children and grandchildren should ;nake the grandfj^ther 
and mother aabamed, if they let themselves be depressed by 
their own natural infirmities. We make a very good fight 
against them accordingly, and I hope do not materially 
depress those aroosnd us by the spectacle of our not un- 
;gentle decay. I was charmed to find you giving signs of 
life the other day by an advertisement of a new Ghriatmad 
book, though I can make but a poor guess at its scope by 
the — -- — title you have given it. You must let me 
have a^ e^krly copy of it, I think, but not if at all incoiih 
venient, or against the wish of the publishers, &c.'-<-i!v>er 
affectionately yours. 

8S2 Lira 07 LOBD JBFFBBT* 

204.— 2b Mr. Umpson. 

ficUnbnrgh, Monday, 7 o'clock, 1848. 

We had no letter thia morning, but suppose nothing 
worse than your being too late for the Saturday post, which 
will bring us the post seriptum to-morrow afternoon, kc: 

It is a su|)erb winter day, bright and calm ; and we had 
a grand and pensiye walk from Granton pier to Newharen 
— ^the sea rippling slow and shrill among the pebbles, and 
the sky majestically huQg, all over the west, with rich ca- 
nopied clouds, of crimson and deep orange. ' 

A very good Uxaminer I think this last. I fancy I 
should like to read those letters and reliques of old WSliam 
Taylor. Is he any relation of Sarah's? There is some- 
thing very creditable in the extreme frankness with which 
he and Southey tell each other of their faults ; though it 
makes an odd contrast with the soreness dnd intolerance 
with which they both receive any similar intimations from 
other quarters, &c. 

205.— 2b jjfr. Hfnpson. 

l»th January, 1849. 
I have been reading Sidney's Lectures, which I told 
you Mrs. Smith had sent me; and have been so much 
struck with their goodness, cleverness^ vivacity, courage, 
and substantial modesty ^ that I have loudly retracted my 
former judgment, that they would do him no credit, and 
ought not to be published. I now think them nearly as 
good as any thing he ever wrote; and far better, and more 
likely to attract notice, than any of his sermons, or most 
of his reviews ; and have consequently recommended an 
enlarged impression for general uise (she had only printed 
100 for private circulation). I am very glad to make this 
amende^ and I make it most conscientiously. I had read 

TO BfB. J. M. M^CLIOD. 358 

but a few lectures in manuaeriptf yfhen I formed the nn- 
favourable opinion I expressed to her some years ago; and 
suppose I must have fallen on bad specimens, though I 
doubt not I was (too much) guided by a preconceived con- 
viction that dear Sidney had never taken the trouble to 
master the subject, or any part of it, and merely thrown 
out to his shallow Albemarle Street auditory a frothed-up 
recha'uff'6 oi Brown and Stewart, from imperfect and mis- 
taken recollections. I do not yet believe that he took much 
pains, or fitted himself to grapple with the real diflSculties 
of the subject. But it is surprising how bravely and 
acutely he has clutched at the substance of most things ; 
and how pleasantly he has evaded, or extricated himself 
from, most perplexities. 

^06. — To John MacphevBon Macleody Haq. 

(Late of the Ciyil Serrice, Madras, one of the authors of the iBcUan 

Penal Code.) 
[Mr. Macleod had sent Lord Jeffrey a oopy of a very able pamphlet by 
him, ** On some popular objections to the present Income Tax/' in 
which he endeavoured to show that the objections to it, because of 
its inequality, as applied to temporary and to permanent incomes, 
were groundless.] . « , 

Edinburgh, Thursday Night, 
16th February, 1849. 
My dear M'Leod — I have read your little tractate with 
very great pleasure and admiration. It is a pattern of 
precise and vigorous reasoning, beautifully lucid, and de- 
lightfully concise. I am proud of it for your sake, and 
for the confirmation it afibrds of the opinion I have long 
held, of your eminent qualifications for this kind of writ- 
ing, as well as for the hope it suggests that the success it 
must meet with may tempt you to employ that fine and 
dexterous hand on other and more important subjects; 
fox I must tell you that, though you have made a dazzling 
fence of dialectics, and gained a triumph over the narrow 

30* X 


battle array which you have been pleased to assign to jour 
opponents, I am not satisfied that yon have broken their 
substantive strength, or done more than oblige them to 
form their old objections anew, on a ground less exposed. 
I am a desperate heretic, in short, and proclaim myself, 
not only unconverted, but unshaken in all the substantial 
articles of that creed, on one formula of which you have 
made so brilliant an assault. But I despair of being able 
to render you a reason for my belief, till I have more 
leisure for such an exposition, than I can venture to hope 
for, for some time to come. My first movement was merely 
to thank you for your book, and to tell you how charmingly 
I thought it written, as soon as I had done reading it. 
But then, as I was conscious of a resolute dissent from ail 
its practical concluuons, it occurred to me that it would 
not be fair to you not to let you know this, nor to myself 
not to enter into the grounds of that disagreement; and 
so I put off my acknowledgments, in the hope of being 
able to make them in a manner more worthy of the occa- 
sion, and of the confidence there should always be between 
us. But I have been so long detained in court, and so 
worried with other cases out of it for the last week, that 
I have found it impossible to find a single quiet hour in all 
that time for this purpose; and seeing no prospect of any 
relief for weeks yet to come, I have sat desperately down, at 
this midnight hour, to disburden myself of this impenitent 
confession, and to try to tell you, in two sentences, the 
general nature of the grounds on which I ^m compelled to 
refuse any adhesion to doctrines which I foresee will now 
have many proselytes. 

The root of my objection is — that I conceive no tax, on 
what tfou understand by income^ can be otherwise than 
unjust and unequal, and that it ought in all cases to be laid 
substantially on property. I think it a very reasonable 
proposition, that men should contribute for the support of 
the government which protects their interests, as nearly as 

TO MR. J. H. MACLEOD. 855 

possible in proportion to the value of the interest&r protect- 
ed ; and that in this, as in every other case, they should 
be required to pay only as, in vulgar phrase and fact, they 
can afford to pay. Every one feels and aots upon this 
plain maxim in ordinary life. The man who has a fixed 
and perpetual income spends more of it than the man with 
one that is temporary or precarious, and thus pays a larger 
share of all taxes, hid on consumption or expenditure. In 
the same way he is expected to pay, and does pay, more in 
charity and voluntary benefactions. Why, then, should 
he not pay his direct taxes in the same proportion? and be 
required to relieve the necestsities of the state, as he feels 
it his duty to do those of the destitute ? land subscribe to 
the exchequer in the same higher column which he occupies 
among the contributors to the Infirmary or ragged schools ? 
This is the view which common senBC and common feeling 
impress, I believe, on all men, and out of which no logi- 
cal refinements can ever drive them. 

But if we must come to quillets and quiddities, and em- 
barrass ourselves with logomachies and verbal distinctions, 
I say, that income derived from realized property is gene- 
rically a different thing from income derived frwn labour, 
or any other source, and that the short and temporary an- 
nuities^ about which all your reasonings are conversant, do 
not, properly speaking, constitute income at ally but are 
really instalments of capital formerly invested, and now 
repaid in this fashion, and should no more be taxed as in- 
come than any other form of capital. Take this illustra- 
tion :— I sell a farm for £10,000, which is all paid over in 
one year. I formerly paid income-tax on my rent, and 
now pay it ~on the interest only of the price. But suppose 
the bargain is, that the price should be paid in five yearly 
instalments of <£2000 each, will anybody say that for these 
five years I am to pay as for an income of <£2000 a year ? 
But is this substantially different from the case of a man 
who buys an annuity of £2000 a year for five years, at a 


price of X9000 or jS10,000. Before the purchase, he only 
paid income-tax on the interest of the price eo invested, and 
whj should he pay more oa the annual instalments by 
which, in substance and reality, that investment is merely 
replaced to him ? and it is the. same with all terminaUe 
annuities. All that exceeds the i7Uere$t of the price or^i* 
nally paid for them, or rather the interest of their present 
value, is truly an instaJment of the principal repaid; and. 
income-iKx. should only be paid on the part which is interest. 

You observe somewhere, that the holder of a short an* 
nuity, if he does not like to pay tax on it^ annual amount, 
may sell it, and purchase a perpetualone with the tnon^y, 
when be will only have to pay on a smaller income. But, 
supposing this conversion to be always practicable, can any 
thing present so strange a picture of gross and unjust in- 
equality, as that a man, whose actual means, wealth, credit, 
and power of spending, remain substantially the same, 
should pay four times as much, one year as another, as 
direct tax on all that property, merely in, consequence of 
a change in the mode of its investment? The tax now is 
but light, and people grumble and submit to it. But if it 
were substituted for all other taxes, and consequently raised 
from 3 per cent, to 20 or 25, it is quite plain that no more 
capital would be invested in terminable annuities, and that 
the holders of temporary and precarious incomes would be 
driven into actual rebellion — as the inequality, though not 
really greater than now, would be then found intolerable. 

When I say that the tax can only be fairly laid on pro- 
perty, I do not mean that it should not be actually so levied 
on any thing but income, but only that it should be so 
levied on an income representing property, and proportion* 
ate to it — on the actual receipts — that is, where these are 
the permanent proceeds of property, and, in all other cases, 
only on such parts of the annual receipts as can be shown 
to be what the actual present value of what is vested in the 
p,arty, could produce annually in all time to come. I do 

TO MB. J. M. MACLBOli. 857 

not propose, therefore, to tax income derived from realized 
property higher than any other income, but only to diB- 
criminate those parts of the annual receipts of other per- 
sons, which are truly the income, or permanent proceeds 
of the sum of their possessions, from those parts which are 
truly varying investments of the principal, and to charge 
the tax only on the fonner. 

I am afraid I do not make this so clear as you would do, 
if you were of my way of thinking. But my notion is, that 
the only definition of income, yfindh can ever make it a fair 
basis of taxation, is, that it is the annual produce of some 
property or vested value, which remains' entire to the 
own^r, after yielding such produce. Such undoubtedly is 
the definition of the income of those who live on the rents 
of land, or the interest of lent money ; and if they pay 
only a certain portion of this income to the state, it is in- 
conceivable to me how any other persons should be required 
to mak^ a proportional payment, except out of an income 
of the ^ame description. If it is required out of annual 
receipts of any other description, it is not paid out of in- 
come, in the same sense as that paid by landlords or monied 
men. But I take their case as the standard ; and not pro- 
posing at all to enhance the assessment on them, or in any 
way to tax prospective or reversionary interests, I mean 
merely to bring the incomes of other persons down to their 
standard — to reduce it to its true value, according to that 
standard, and to tax it equally and alike. 

The proposition then is, that all men should be taxed, 
only on that part of their annual receipts which it can be 
shown that the present valuo of all they are vested with 
might yield annually, in all time to come. The owners of 
land and of lent money pay only on what is thus yielded, 
and why should the owners of any other source of produce 
pay on any thing else ? There may be practical and in- 
surmountable di£Sculties in adjusting the actual levy of the 
tax in certain quarters, but no difficulty at all in fixing the 


principle^ or even in applying it, in the great maJQritj of 

In that of the holders of fixed annuities for definite 
terms, there would be no difficulty at all. The present 
value of the annuity may be calculated with absolute cer- 
tainty, and the ordinary interest on that value, brought to 
a capital, would show the taxable amount of his income ; — 
all beyond being as much realized portions of the principal, 
as if the landlord, in addition to his rents, were every year to 
receiye the price of a farm which he had directed to be sold. 

The case of life annuities, or incomes, as they are called, 
may be a little more difficult, as not admitting at once of 
a precise arithmetical solution. But every one knows that 
the present yalue of these also, is every day calculated in 
the insurance offices, and may therefor^ be brought to a 
capital as easily as the former. 

Professional incomes are no doubt more perplexing, but 
are so plainly within the principle, that I have not the 
least doubt that an able actuary, with all the data before 
him, could make a very reliable estimate of the probable 
present value of all the future receipts of any professional 
person, or at least a pretty near approximation to such an 
estimate. And here I am tempted to observe, that I hav^ 
not been at all moved by the case you state at page 15, 
and which rather seems to be addressed to the feelings than 
to the judgment of your readers, since, in my view of the 
matter, there would be no higher per-centage charged on 
the proper income of either of the parties, than on that of 
the other. The present yalue of all the future annual re- 
ceipts of the man now actually drawing £10,000 a-year, 
would be estimated, say at ten years' purchase, and brought 
to a capital of £100,000, and on the ordinary interest of 
that or some £25,000 a-year, he would have to* pay tax 
just as his less prosperous brother did on the interest of 
the £4000 or £5000 which yielded his income of £200. 
If you did not mean to suborn our feelings a little on be- 
half of your Arguments, why make the retired capitalists 

TO MB. J. H. MACIAOD. 859 

tbe least healtby and wealthy of the two ? It is quite as 
common a case to find a jobbing lawyer retired on a for- 
tune of ^100;000, and a sickly scholar plodding on at the 
bar, and not earning <£200 a-year by his precarious prac- 
tice. But would it then seem unjust to say that he ought 
not to be made to pay, as if this £200 was secured for ever 
by a capital of JE5000, which was also entirely at his disposal ? 
I am aware that there may be difficulties in showing 
that the excess over the interest of the estimated present 
Talue of a future professional income is to be regarded as 
instalment of capital, and so distinguishable from income, 
as in the case of fixed incomes, or annuil^ies for life or 
terms of years; and I feel that I have not now time, or 
strength, to enter into the necessary explanation. But 
my notion generally is, that this excess, too, is truly but a 
replacing or realizing of a vested capital, and so not fit to 
be taxed as income, more than in the other cases. Part 
of this capital is the money actually expended (or invested) 
by or for the party himself in his education, and in the 
books, instruments, or tools necessary for carrying on his 
profession. But the greater part, no doubt, (for this might 
soon be replaced,) must be held to consist in the talent, 
industry, strength, and ambition with which his Maker 
(Uke a munificent parent) has endowed him, and invested, 
so to speak, in hia person, to be reproduced in the shape, 
not merely of pecuniary gain, but of gratitude, affection, 
and fame. It is only with the li^orldly profits that we have 
now to do, and these I conceive are to be considered as 
truly the return, or reproduction in a material form, of 
that intellectual capital, which is at all events wholly con- 
sumed and expended in the result, and does not remain, 
after yielding this temporary produce, like the lands or 
. lent money of the landed or monied man. It comes under 
the same category, therefore, with that part of the tem- 
porary annuitant's receipts which is over the ordinary in- 
terest of its present value, and plainly resolves itself into 
a partial repayment of invested capital. 


But it is past two o'clock, and so good night, and God 
Ueas you ! I shall be ashamed, I daresay, to look OTor 
this to-morrow ! 

Friday morning. — ^And I am (uhamed; — ^pretty tho- 
roughly, both of the length and the crudity ; and therefore, 
though I see much to be supplied^ I do not y«iture to add 
any thing. Only, you will understand, that I apply the 
views last stated to the case of incomes derived &om trade 
and manttfaetureSj holding that the only proper or taxable 
income, in these cases, is that constituted by the interest 
on the stock at any time held in the concern, and that all 
turpltis receipts are to be eomii&tei bs .capital in a stale 
of transition. I had something to say a^lso as to the modi- 
fications the argument may receive from the income«t&x 
being taken as temporary or perpetual^ as to which I think 
you have fallen into some fallacies, and as to the income 
derived from mere labour, or the wages of unskilled arti- 
sans, though I think you will easily guess how I would 
deal with these questions. 

And so at last I have done, and feel sure that however 
you may pity my judicial blindness, you will not be at all 
angry at the irreveretit petulanpe with which you know (I 
hope) that I claim the privilege of talking inter famiUarea* 

I fear we shall never thoroughly understand each other, 
even on these, subjects, till we have a long midnight con- 
versation .at Craigcrook, or St. Kilda,* where we can hold 
our Tusculan disputation face to face, without the nausea 
of reading and writing these dull and blotty pages* Be- 
m^nber though, that I am not, by many degrees, so con- 
fident and presumptuous as these familiar petulances would 
make me appear to the uninitiated ; so that, if you will 
put yourself right, and me as wrong as you please, in a 
future edition, you will find me as meek and submissive as 
a lamb, and ready to make any palinode (do you know 
that wordof the Canonii^ts ?) but in the mean time I hold 
you at defiance ! 

• dt. Kilda belongs to Mr. Maeleod. 


And so Ood bless you again my dear M^Leod. We are 
all pretty well here, and actually meditating a run up to 
your latitudes about the beginning of April, thongh I 
eannot help having misgivings as to the prudence of such 
a movement on Charlotte's part. She has, I thank God^ 
had no recurrence of her malady for many months ; but 
has been' living so very careful and cautious a life that I 
shrink from the prospect of any such disturbance of it, 
when the time comes, and certainly shall run no risks* 

I trust Mrs. M^Leod has got over her influensa long ago« 
This sweet vernal weather should scatter the seeds of all 
such disorders* — ^Ever and ever yours. 

207.— To Mr. JEmpson. 
(On Beeiikg a letter about Maoanlaj's History.) 

Craigcrook, Tuesday, 20th March, 1849. 

My dear E. — I have read — *8 letter with some sur*- 

prisfe. I really do not know what it is that he would exact 
from a historian — a deduction it seems to be, and authentic 
announcement of all the great « universal and eternal 
truths,*' which it is supposed that a due consideration of 
events would enable him to establish in law, religion, poli- 
tical economy, and marah! A modest addition this to the 
province and task of a historian ; and in regard to sci- 
ences, too, in which what are held to be established truths 
by one set of authorities^ are impugned as pestilent here- 
sies by another as weighty. If there are catholic and 
eternal truths, now so proved and matured as to be ca- 
pable of being demonstrated in any of these sciences, it is 
plain at least that this can only be done by reasoning and 
controversy, and not by dogmatic deduction from the local 
history of a very brief period; and I cannot think it any 
part of the historian's duty to supply this demonstration* 
If it be, at least, it must be admitted that it is a duty 
which has been hitherto neglected. No historian that I 
know of, either ancient or modern, has professed or at- 

VOL. 11.-^1 


tempted to add eneh an encyclopaedia to his chronicle. 
Macaulay hai made one addition to the task, that of exhi- 
biting, not only the great acts and great actions of the 
time, but the great body of the nation affected by these 
acts, and from whose actaal condition they truly derive, 
not merely their whole importance, but their true moral 
character. By this innovation, he has, to the cbnviction, 
I think, of all men, added so much, not only to tho inte- 
rest, but to the utility and practical lessening of history, 
that I feel confident it will be universally adopted, and no 
future writer have a chance of success who neglects it. 

But the addition which now requires and demands, 

indeed, under pain of most grave censure, would be quite 
as much an innovation ; and, instead of adding to the in- 
terest of our histories, would render them unreadable for 
all but the indefatigable indagators of transcendental 
truths. But I deny utterly the two propositions upon 
the assumption of which all this anathema is rested — 1st. 
That Macaulay has aimed chiefly at interesting and enter- 
taining his readers; and 2d. That he has (either studi- 
ously or indolently) put them on a scanty allowance of 
instruction, admonition, or suggestion. As to the last, I 

will maintain boldly to the face of and any twelve 

select jurymen he may himself name, that no historian of 
any age has been so prodigal of original and profound re- 
flective suggestion, aye and weighty and authoritative 
decision also, on innumerable questions of great diflScidty 
and general interest ; though these precious contributions 
are not ostentatiously ticketed and labelled as tieparate 
gifts to mankind, but woven with far better grace and ef- 
fect, into the net tissue of the story. And then, as to his 
aiming only to interest and amuse, I say, first, that, though 
he has attained that end, it is only incidentally, and not 
by aiming at it, as an end, at all ; and, second, that, in 
good truth, it is chiefly by his success in the higher object 
at which he did aim that he has really delighted and inte- 
rested his readers. The vivacity and colour of his ^ style 


may have been the first attraction of manj to his Tolames; 
but I feel assured that it is the impression of the weight, 
and novelty, and clearness of the information conveyed — 
the doubts dispelled — ^the chaos reduced to order — the 
mastery over facts and views formerly so perplexing, and 
now so pleasingly imparted, that have given the book its 
great and universal charm, and settled it in the affections 
of all its worthy admirers. 

I forgot to say that the general historian has hitherto 
been dispensed from settling all debateable questions in 
law, public policy, religion, &c., by leaving these to vnriters 
who confine themselves each to one of these great subjects. 
Hallam Writes a con%tituti(mal history — and others, histo- 
ries of commerce — •philosophy — religion — ^and taw; and 
very large and very valuable works are produced under 
these titles. But what dimensions would a work assume 
that undertook to embody all these, or even the substance 
of them, in a general history. Macaulay has been re- 
proached with expanding the history of four years into 
two large volumes; I think quite unjustly. But how many 
would he have required if he had attempted to incorporate 
with his narrative a satisfactory deduction of all the great 
truths upon which it had any bearing? He has given de- 
tails and reasonB ioo — very fully in so far as they were 
necessary to the exposition of the great truths which he 
did propose ^ establish. For I take it that it was with a 
view to certain great truths that his history was under- 
taken ; and these, which I think it has made out beyond 
all future contradiction, are — 1st, the intolerable and per- 
sonally hateful tyranny of the Stuarts; 2d, the absolute 
necessity of at least as radical and marked a revolution as 
was effected in 1688 ; and, 8d, the singular felicity with 
which that revolution was saved from the stain of blood, 
and all crimes of violence, by the peculiar relation in which 
William stood to the dynasty, and the still more peculiar 
character and European position of that great prince. 
Had he not been in the line of succession we should have 


had an attempt at a new commonwealth, and another ciyil 
war; and had he not been partly an alien, and looking 
more to Em^opean than merely English interests, the vic- 
tory in that war must have been of one flection of the 
people over another, with all tho rankMngs and aggravated 
antipathies, which the mere predominance of a sort of 
neutral party or common umpire tended to suppress and 
extinguish. On these points^ 1 think Macaiday has made 
out triumphantly — and not by eloquent and lively writing, 
but by patient and copious accumulation and lucid arrange*^ 
ment of facts and details, often separately insignificant^ 
but constituting at last an induction which leaves no Bhad« 
of doubt on the conclusion. • This book, therefore, has 
already y in the course of* three little months, scattered to 
the winds, and swept finally from the minds, of all think- 
ing Englishmen, those lingerings of Jacobite prejudice, 
which the eloquence and perversions of Hume, and the 
popular talents of Scott and other writers of fiction, had 
restored to our literature, and but too much familiarised tci 
our feelings, in the last fifty years. This is a great work, 
and a great triumph, and ought, I think, so to bo hailed 
and rejoiced in. All convertible men must now be dis- 
abused of their prejudices, and all future generaticms grow 
up in a light, round which no cloud can again find means 
to gather. As to the objections that he is too much on a 
footing of personal intimacy with his characters, I cannot 
say I see much weight in it. If he speaks of them with 
more confidence than we should feel entitled to do, I am 
willing to think that this is because he has been at pains 
to get at more knowledge of them« And with regard to 
the most remarkable, the means of getting very minute 
knowledge were fortunately very abundant. Halifax, and 
Churchill, and Sunderland, and Burnet, are drawn from 
their own writings and recorded sayings; and I have no 
idea that the accuracy of M.'s portraiture of any of them 
will ever be seriously questioned. 


2A8.— To Charles Dickens^ JEsq. 

CraigcfOok, 27th July, 1849. 

My ever dear Dickens — ^I have been verj near dead ; 
and am bj no means sore that I shall ever recover from 
the maladj whioh has confined me mostly to bed for the, 
last five ^reeksy and which has only, within the last three, 
days, allowed tne to leave my room for a few hours in the 
morning. Bat I must tell you, that, living or dying, I 
retain for you, unabated and unimpaired, the same cordial 
feelings of love, gratitude, and admiration, whioh have 
been part of my nature, and no small part of my pride and 
happiness, for the last twenty years. I could not le(r 
another number oijoxix public benefactions appear, without 
some token of my private and peculiar thankfuliless, for 
the large share of gratification I receive from them all ; 
and therefore I rise from my couch, and indite these few 
lines (th^ second I have been able to make out in my own 
hand sincermy illness), to explain why I have not written 
before, and how little I am changed in my feelings towards, 
you, by sickness, or a nearer prospect of mortality. I am 
better, however, within these last days ; and hope still to 
see your bright eye, and clasp your open hand, once more 
at least before the hour of final separation. In the mean 
time, you will be glad, though I hope not surprised, to hear 
that I have no acute sufiering, no disturbing apprehensions 
or low spirits ; but possess myself in a fitting and indeed 
cheerful tranquillity, without impatience, or any unseemly 
anxiety as to the issue I am appointed to abide. 

With kindest and most afiectionate remembrances to 
your true-hearted and affectionate Kate, and all your 
blooming progeny, ever and ever, my dear Dickens, affec- 
tionately yours. 

209. — To Mr. Alexander Maclagan^ Edinhurgh^ 
(Who had just sent him a volame of his Poesis.) 

24 Moray Place, Friday, 4th January, 1860. 

Dear Sir-r-I am very much obliged to you for the poemS| 



and the kind letter yon have sent me, and am glad to find 
that yon are meditating an enlarged edition. 

I have already read all these on the slips, and think them, 
on the whole, fully equal to those in the former volume. I 
am most pleased, I helieve, with that which you have en- 
titled " Sister's Love ;" which is at once very touching, very 
graphic, and very elegant. Your summer sketches have 
beautiful passages in all of them, and a pervading joyousness 
and kindliness of feeling, as well as a vein of grateful de« 
votion, which must recommend them to all good minds. 
<( The Scorched Flowers" I thought the most picturesque. 
Your muse seems to have been unusually fertile this last 
sUmmer. It will always be a pleasure to me to hear of 
your well-being, or to be able to do you any service. 

If you publish by subscription, you may set me down 
for five or six copies ; and do not scruple to apply to me 
for any farther aid you may think I can lend you. Mean 
time, believe me, with all good wishes, your dbliged and 
faithful, &c. 

210.— ro Charles Dickens^ Usq. 

Edinburgh, 16th January, 1860. 

Bless you, my dear Dickens, and happy new years for 
centuries to you and yours ! A thousand thanks fpr your 
kind letter of December, and your sweet, soothing Copper- 
field of the new year. It is not a hinging or marking 
chapter in the stdry of the life, but it is full of good 
matter, and we are all the better for it. The scene with 
Agnes is the most impressive, though there is much pro- 
mise in Traddles. Uriah is too disgusting ; and I confess 
I should have been contented to have heard no more of the 
Micawbers. But there is no saying what you may make 
of them, &c. 

It cheers and delights me, too, to have such pleasing 
accounts of the well-being and promise of your children ; 
and it is a new motive for my trying to live a little longer, 


that I may hear of the first honours attained by my name- 
boy. God bless him, and all of you ! 

We are all tolerably well here, I thank you; Mrs. 
JeflFrey, I am happy to say, has been really quite well {or 
many months, and, in fact, by much the most robust of 
the two. My fairy grandchild, too, is bright and radiant 
through all the glooms of winter and age, and fills the 
house with sunshine and music. I am old and vulnerable, 
bat still able for my work, and not a bit morose or queru- 
lous ; « and by the mass the heart is in the trim.'' I love 
all that is loveable, or can respond, to love as intensely as 
in youth, and hope to die before that capacity forsakes me. 

It is like looking forward to spring to think of seeing 
your beaming eye again! Gome, then, to see us when 
you can, and bring that true-hearted Kate with you, — ^but 
not as you did the last time, to frighten us, and imperil 
her. Let that job be well over first, and consider whether 
it had not better be the last ? There can never be too 
many Dickenses in the world ; but these overhearings ex- 
haust the parent tree, and those who cannot hope to re- 
pose in the shade of the saplings, must shrink from the 
risk of its decay. 

I daresay you do right to send one boy to Eton ; but 
what is most surely learned there is the habit of wasteful 
expense, and, in ordinary natures, a shame and contempt 
for plebeian parents. But I have faith in races, and feel 
that your blood will resist such attaints. You do not 
think it impertinent in me to refer to them ? I speak to 
you as I would to a younger brother. And so God bless 
you again, and ever, yours. 

211. — To Mr, John Crawford^ AUoa. 
(Who had sent him a volume of his Poems.) 

Edinburgh, 6th January, 1850. 
Dear Sir — I am very much obliged to you for the pretty 
little volume you have had the kindness to send me, and 


beg to offer you my sincere thanks for the honour yoa 
have done, and the pleasure you have afforded me. For 
though it only came to my hands yesterday, I have already 
read every word it contains, and have really been much 
gratified by the perusal. . It has always been a source of 
pride and satisfaction to me to find so many of my coun- 
trymen, in l^e humbler and more laborious walks of life, 
addicted to pursuits so elevating and refined as those with 
which you appear to have dignified and solaced your hours 
of leisure ; and particularly gratifying when they succeed 
in these lofty endeavours, as I think you may be said to 
have succeeded. Not, however, that I think you, strictly 
speaking, will attain either fortune or fame by your poetry, 
but because you have done enough to show that you have 
acquired a genuine relish for those ennobling studies, and 
a capacity for enjoying an elegant amusement, which will 
both promote your moral culture, and bring you into con- 
tact with minds of a higher order than might otherwise 
have claimed affinity with you. 

There is much graphic beauty, and many pleasing 
touches of kindly feeling, in almost all your pieces. But 
I am most pleased with those that embody the boundless 
tenderness of maternal affection, or shadow forth the in- 
effable loveliness of sinless and trusting childhood. In- 
deed I have always been charmed, and in some measure 
surprised by the delicate soft-heartedness which has so 
generally distinguished the recent poetical productions of 
our Scottish tradesmen and artizans, and which contrast 
so favourably with the license in which many of their rivals 
in higher stations indulge. 

It will give me pleasure to hear of the success of your 
modest publication, and still more to be able to do you 
any service. Meantime, believe me, with all good wishes, 
your obliged and faithful. 

BttrMtTped by L. Johaaon * Co., niUdelphia.